DRA Stand Up for Community

Image courtesy Donnybrook Residents’ Association.

Image courtesy Donnybrook Residents’ Association.

A new triangle garden structure was recently built in the St Broc’s and Pembroke Cottages in Donnybrook. The area had been left derelict due to the passing of a local gentlemen who conducted maintenance on the site, after which Donnybrook Residents’ Association stepped in.

The DRA has been operating for five years and represents the residents of St Broc’s Cottages, Pembroke Cottages and Home Villas.

The site had been previously used as a venue once a year, which featured locals sitting around the area engaging in barbeques, discos and the like. Once the reins of the site had been passed on to the housing committee, money was raised by locals to get three tenders to do the necessary work and the plans for the new design were made by DRA Chairman Christy Doyle, Public Relations Officer David Doyle and Treasurer Owen Walker.

Christy Doyle spoke to NewsFour about how the community got involved in the project, planting low flowers and plants all along the area with the same strategy applied to the beddings.

It was decided that no seating within the area would be used as the plan is for the structure to be used on an irregular basis, with the DRA’s brochure notifying community members on how they can get involved in maintaining the site. The site is currently awaiting the arrival of new railings.

“If you had seen it beforehand, it now looks completely different,” Christy told NewsFour. “People have loads of ideas about what they want, but you have to control that situation. The committee will be in charge of it along with the residents.”

The triangle is just part of a wider project that the Donnybrook Residents’ Association has undertaken in order to make improvements to the area. Christy told NewsFour that the slogan the committee uses is, “Don’t ask what your village can do for you; ask what you can do for your village.” And the slogan has borne fruit. Not only have the residents of the area managed to paint over many of the old light poles in the Donnybrook area, but they have also formulated a strong working relationship with many of the local businesses, which will help with financial objectives and help improve the area’s already sturdy sense of community spirit.

“With regards to the community and local businesses, both get on together and we have seen our village improve an awful lot,” Christy said.

Christy continued by saying that there is more on the DRA’s horizons. Among their plans is an attempt to curb the levels of antisocial behaviour, graffiti and vandalism in the area by attempting to get the far side entrance of Herbert Park closed. There are also plans to erect flood defences on the Dodder banks leading up to Donnybrook Bridge, and also to trim many of the trees surrounding the children’s playground to give a more scenic view.

But Christy remains confident that the people in the area care deeply about the challenges ahead. “When people see the work you’re doing in the community they do get involved.”

By Craig Kinsella