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Dublin 8 – The Community Allotment Centre

This is the time of year that tulips and daffodils are showing up in the shops and many of us start thinking about planting and growing our own. Us city dwellers don’t always have the garden space (or any growing space) to grow much, which is where allotments come in. When unused land is turned over to a group to give plots to members communities of gardeners can turn their plots into vegetable, potato, fruit and flower growing havens. Dublin 8 has been at the forefront of developing Community Allotment sites since 2012. There are 123 individual plots available in the Dublin Council’s five schemes for Dublin 8 and there is a waiting list to fill vacancies.

The newest allotment site is St. Thomas Abbey, South Earl Street with 17 raised beds.  Just opened at the end of 2016, it is on an historic site of an abbey founded in the 12th century and  dissolved in 1540. This allotment’s gardening is uniquely on raised beds so the archeology beneath will not be disturbed by aggressive gardening. More information on the site can be found on the Liberties website (http://libertiesdublin.ie/new-community-allotment-historic-abbey-site/)(Dec 14, 2016).

The largest site is at Grattan Crescent, Inchicore with 40 plots. Hiding below the community park and playground behind locked gates, the site is beside the Carmac River across from St. Pat’s football club at Richmond Park. A mix of an active community of gardeners with always some neophytes, it is a garden with a turnover of members. The site has a, like the others, has a lockup storage unit for community needs and water faucet.

 

Dublin 8 sites are found at:

Grattan Crescent, Inchicore (40 plots)

Braithwaite Street (19)

Weavers Square (27)

Bridgefoot Street (20)

St. Thomas Abbey, South Earl Street (17)

 

Dublin City Council website has more information on allotments and an application form. Information can be found at http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-your-council-your-area-south-central-area/allotments-and-community-gardens but the information on the website is dated. Their Press Office has confirmed that those wanting to put their name on a waiting list (64 names on the list for Dublin 8 at the moment) need to live in the Dublin City Council area and can choose to wait for a site at just one scheme or submit to more than one. Council staff warned me that the older schemes have a more stable membership and fewer spaces come free with them. The webpage has a link an application but it names just one site and individuals applicants would need to ensure that the name(s) of the scheme they are interested in is named on their application.

In addition to the individual plots two sites, Weavers Square and Bridgefoot Street, also contain a community garden. Community gardens have programs for the community and schools members to become involved without the responsibility of an individual plot.

The fees for plots vary between €60 and €120 and are dependent on the size of theallotment, with a €50 key deposit.

For those with a passion for this subject Dublin City Parks Strategy 2016 is a 128 page consultation document covering in detail the plans and aspirations for the greater Dublin area for parks and landscaping. They are looking for comments before they bring it to the City Council for adoption. It can be found online at https://consultation.dublincity.ie/parks/dublin-city-parks-strategy/. Closing date for submissions is the 28th of February 2017, so just a little over a week.

If you are involved in a group interested in setting up a new community garden advice on how to advance your scheme can be found in a pamphlet: dublincommunitygrowers.ie/wp…/FINAL-City-Guide-to-Community-Gardening.pdf

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