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The Opening of Bridgefoot Street Park

The Opening of Bridgefoot Street Park – Craig O Reilly has the story on the Park opening

Bridgefoot Street Park is set to open to the public in late January after a series of delays. The development has seen a lot of progress recently. In particular a bench commemorating Richard  Taplin can be viewed on the Bridgefoot Park Community Garden Facebook page.

The original community garden was led by Richard, who along with others created a space for people who were struggling; it created an avenue for expression and provided an outlet for purpose and growth. Many of the materials used were gathered on site, and the garden was built with an authenticity that is difficult for any city planning to match.

With Richard at the helm, the garden was a runner up in Energia’s “Grow It Yourself” competition which was sponsored by RTE’s The Today Show, and this brought some overdue recognition to the efforts of all involved.

In an era where the word sustainability is thrown around in almost every property development document in some vague buzzword sense, the Bridgefoot Street Garden embodied it in a concrete physical sense. It used surrounding materials, was made from people’s own initiative, and in all likelihood, it probably secured the area as a green space that could otherwise have vanished or been built over. The Bridgefoot Street Park has tried to keep some of this spirit intact. Local groups have fought for the development of a park for years.

After Richard Taplin sadly passed away on the 19th of June 2021, there have been various petitions to commemorate his name in the new park. One of the petitions suggested calling it “Taplin Park”, and it received plenty of signatures. A special commemorative bench has been installed.

On the 24th of may, classes opened up via zoom to allow residents to play an active role in the development of the new community garden. It would be designed and managed by the Bridgefoot Street Community Garden Committee and this would be made up of local residents.

Progress over the past four years has faced numerous delays, and the pandemic also had a significant effect on progress.

However YouTube videos and Facebook groups have uploaded imagery showing that the development seems to have gone very well. Some are confused as to why the park is not open already, as it was set to finally open this month. Difficulties with contractors being able to get access to certain materials has been given as the reason.

Hopefully Bridgefoot Street will be open to all soon and it will be fitting of the vision put forth by Richard Taplin, and all those who have been involved subsequently in this little corner of Dublin 8.

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