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Minister O’Donovan claims motorists “respecting” 30km/h limit in Phoenix Park

Despite data collected showing widespread speeding above the new 30km/h limit in the Phoenix Park, Minister for State for the OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, has claimed most motorists are respecting the new limit.

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Back in February of this year a number of changes were made in the park, including the speed limit reduced from 50km/h to 30km/h, and two pilot schemes. One of the trials include a cul-de-sac on Upper Glen Road and the other was making North Road one way, with a two-way cycle lane.

Despite there being video footage showing a Phoenix Park Ranger stopping a motorist driving the wrong way up North Road and some park users claiming motorists are frequently driving the wrong way on this road, Minister for State O’Donovan claimed that OPW staff are not aware of such incidents.

In a parliamentary reply, he claimed: “I understand that they are not aware of motorists travelling in the wrong direction on one way roads.”

Minister O’Donovan (FG) was answering parliamentary questions from Dublin South Central TD Patrick Costello (Green Party). The full questions and answers can be viewed at

On the 30km/h limit, Minister for State O’Donovan said: “The OPW and An Garda Siochána are committed to the implementation of the thirty kilometre speed limit within the Phoenix Park. A change in driver behaviour within the Park has been observed with most motorist respecting the lower speed to improve the safety for all of the visitors to the Park.”

Phil Wright, a park user who captured the video of a motorist going the wrong way, has also posted a large number of sets of example data sets showing the majority of motorists speeding while he uses the park. Wright records the speed of motorists using a Garmin Varia with radar.

In the graph shown below, the yellow line represents 30km/h and red plot lines are the speed at which each motorist is recorded at — so all red lines above the yellow one are examples of motorists speeding.

He said the first few minutes of the data is from outside the park but that the speed of motorists recorded inside the park is often above 50km/h never mind above 30km/h. 

Minister for State O’Donovan said that annalises by the OPW of vehicular counter data, which should include speed is on-going.

“Surface mounted counters were installed in the Phoenix Park in late December 2021 to monitor traffic in the Park until June 2022.  The monitors count vehicular and cycle traffic while also recording vehicle speeds for the duration of the survey,” he said.

O’Donovan added: “As part of the project, interpretive data analysis is under review by engineers within the OPW. These counters are providing critical information to help manage visitors within the park. It will provide further data for the parking strategy for cars and cycles within the Park.”

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Cian Ginty


  1. Minister O’Donovan understands perfectly well the limit and the fact that it is not being respected. However, he sees himself and is seen by his party as a bulwark against the proliferation of green policies in government and is more representative of the broader FG/FF view particularly amongst rural politicians. He will continue to be willfully obstructionist while claiming black is in fact white for the remainder of his hopefully brief tenure in the OPW.


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