Councillors say an unlit path in Fairview Park is a safety risk but parks department says no to lights

Councillors at a local area meeting in Dublin City have said that an unlit path in Fairview Park is a safety risk and asked for public lighting which would be sympathetic to the environment of the park, but Dublin City Council’s parks department gave a firm no to the idea of lights on the route.

The issue was raised by Cllr Deirdre Heney (Fianna Fáil) who called on the North Central area committee this week to examine the possibility of installing a suitable form of public lighting along the pathways in Fairview Park, to enable commuters to continue to use the park on the way to and from work during winter months

Cllr Deirdre said: “I’m really pleased that there’s going to be lighting around the esplanade but there are a good number of people getting in touch with me who are cycling through the park, especially women cycling through the park, commuting to work and back home again.

She asked: “So I don’t know if we could look at something Fergus [a park’s official] and I know your answer is that we don’t light up parks but I just wonder if we could look at ways to light up the park along the route where people where people are using it to commute to and from work.”

Fergus O’Carroll, a senior parks superintendent with Dublin City Council, said: “The whole point of the [the Clontarf Cycle and Bus Route] project is to deliver a brand new cycle lane outside the park. The path in the middle of the path is a ‘Share With Care’ path with pedestrians. There will be lighting on the esplanade, just inside the path, there will be lighting on the greenway going down by the [River] Tolka, but we are not going to be lighting the other [path].”


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He added: “There will be a brand new functional cycle path just outside the park for commuters who are commuting before sunrise.”

Cllr Catherine Stocker (Social Democrats) said that it would not just be for cyclists and that she has had people contact her who cut through the park for a variety of reasons.

“It’s not a park in the same sense that St Annes is a park that closes off at a certain way in the evening. It’s open to Fairview Village and is part of the village… we have to see it as such and light it as such,” she said.

Cllr Stocker added: “I think there’s potential for a significant safety incident there if we don’t light it up.”

Cllr Donna Cooney (Green Party) disagreed and said that there’s good reason not to have lighting in the park. She said: “I actually think there’s good reason not to have lighting there, we’re in a biodiversity crisis and there’s bats and wildlife [in the park].”

She said she really wanted to use the park in the evening and could do so in the summer but cannot in the winter.

Cllr Cooney added: “And particularly when we’ve got nocturnal animals and bats and things like that which we do have nesting sites for them in the park I think it’s important that we we are conscious of that so and I know that wasn’t the intent and I know councillor Heeney you know is particularly conscious of wildlife and animals.”

1 comment

  1. I don’t live in Dublin and I don’t know this park but also as a cyclist I would be in favour of leaving this path unlit for the environmental reasons given.
    People can still walk and cycle through it using their own personal lighting.
    If the only reason for lighting this path is because of the fear of being assailed and robbed by the ever growing element of thuggery that’s becoming more and more pervasive in our society as we have all just witnessed on this Black Thursday then a few street lights will be of scant protection for a lone and vulnerable traveller on this path at any time.
    Perhaps society needs to let Lugs Brannigan back out on the beat again instead of putting up more lights in every possible dark path.

    Reply

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