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Local Residents Urge Council To Provide Park for Kids

Bridgefoot Street residents have pleaded with the Dublin City Council (D.C.C.) to allocate them a plot of land that in recent times has been left neglected. The plot of land which is situated around the corner from the busy shopping area, Thomas Street, is attracting people who are dealing and using hard drugs, just yards away from people’s homes. This land was originally planned to build both private and Council dwellings, but that fell through. It was then used as a community garden, where locals could grow their own vegetables. At this moment, it has no public insurance and that’s why it’s closed to the public. According to their local Resident Committee chairperson Mr Michael Murtagh, if the situation is left any longer the area will rapidly deteriorate.

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I went down to meet three of the five people who help run Bridgefoot Street Resident Association; Chairperson Mr. Michael Murtagh, Mr. James Kenney, and Mrs Paula Mc Adam. Michael and James kindly showed me around this area, the plot is about 5 acres and has plenty of blocked up gates. At some parts of the fence, people can easily break in, they simply bend one piece of the fence till they have enough room to slide under. The Council have tried a number of times to weld it back together but it’s not working, once one bar gets welded back another piece of the fence is bent till it breaks. Mr Murtagh went on to say that the residents have managed to get a meeting with the City Council, which will happen on August 14th.

The land has a tennis court all laid out, but Michael points to a 40 foot container and tells me that locked inside is all the sports equipment and other playing equipment. Michael pointed out there is a gate beside their house that this would be ideal if they opened and kept all the other gates barred up, this way they could watch the kids and see who is going in. Michael pointed out that the children did build themselves pigeon lofts on the land, but local drug dealers started to hang around them and are using them to shield their dealings. Consequently, the Council had to remove the lofts and the children lost their hobby. Children have no recreational ground in the area to play football or other such activities.

Michael argued that the Council should remove all the overgrown weeds and bushes then have the whole plot resurfaced. He believes that this area would be an ideal place for the children of all the surrounding areas to play in as it is big enough to hold a pitch or two and, they already have the markings of a tennis court. “We are not asking for the Council to just drop everything and come to us, we are asking them to work with us, so we can work together and create a wonderful play area for our children and in time a haven for them”.

While I walked around the fairly new housing estate I could sense a really good neighbourhood here, like all areas, this estate is no more than 7 years and the houses are really lovely. A common area for children to play helps new communities integrate better. In addition, if the kids have something positive to do, there may be a chance they may not fall into a life of drugs or crime life. I could understand how Michael’s propose plan could be a good move.

While I was there I seen a loft that was made by the children perched in the corner of the road the children were awaiting the return of some pigeons, they got really excited when they saw some of their pigeons returning, the photo I took with the kids are Ben Devoy, his friends Jason Farrell & Sean Miskella, they informed me they love their pigeons. There is a living community here and it’s vital they pull together on this issue, which they are doing very well and we at the Fountain your favourite on line digital news wire wish them the very best. You can telephone Michael on 086-2864-687 or Paula on 086-393-1764 should you require any information about this proposal.


IMAGES: Derelict site on Bridgefoot Street, Dublin 8, 2013 – image credit: Alan Finn/FRG.ie

3 Responses

  1. MICK MURTAGH says:

    ALAN THAT WAS SUPER VERY WELL PUT ALL VERY HAPPY WITH STOREY HOPE WE GET SOMETHING DONE NOWI WILL LET YOU KNOW WHAT COMES OF IT THANKING YOU AND YOUR TEAM TALK TO YOU SOON

    MICK MURTAGH

    CHAIRPERSON

    BRIDGEFOOT STREET RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

  2. Well done Alan for highlighting this story. I walked past that field only a couple of weeks ago and was thinking what a waste of space!

    Theres not many facilities available to locals in D8 that you dont have to pay for, and considering the large (mostly under-privilidged) youth population, the fiasco surrounding the proposed public space is unacceptable. In fairness, it wouldnt happen in D4!

    Good luck Mick and the rest of the residents association with the fight!

  3. bridget O Connor says:

    What about getting Dublin city council to stop Oscar Square rosary from been used as a dog toilet too, where the after 11am dogs on a leash rule is actually adhered too.

    Children should be using it more, not middle class, new comers and their dogs.

    These people try to encourage it to be used as a dog friendly park. They even got an article in the news website wrote with a politician to speak in favour of them.

    http://www.dublininquirer.com/2016/08/02/in-the-coombe-many-dogs-and-little-green-space

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