Council Briefs: Smells in Sandymount, and Prettier Playgrounds

Smells in Sandymount

The council has to do something to tackle the “shocking” smell in Sandymount strand, Labour Party Councillor Dermot Lacey said in an emergency motion at a meeting of the council’s South East Area Committee on Monday.

“I don’t know how long the stink lasts for but one day would be long enough. And I do think whatever the preventions need to be made should be made,” said Lacey.

Fine Gael Councillor James Geoghegan said that he had asked in a motion a couple of weeks earlier the council make funding available for an independent audit.

That would reveal the “elements that are causing the things that we are seeing in Sandymount: the stormwater tank discharges, all of these things. They affect everybody,” he said.

Geoghegan said that would help restore public confidence. “There is a complete disconnect between the official language and the official view and what the public sees, feels and smells in Sandymount,” he said.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the water in Sandymount Strand has been growing more polluted. In December last year, a council spokesperson said that was down to drainage misconnections, birds and dogs, and surface water from two nearby Elm Park and Trimleston steams.

Lacey and Fianna Fáil Councillor Deirdre Conroy said the smell in the area was worsening.

Conroy said she’s walked Sandymount Strand most days of the week for 20 years. “I have never experienced anything so shocking,” she said, at the meeting.

In Harold’s Cross

Works are due to begin in the first week of November to upgrade the playground in Harold’s Cross Park, said Senior Executive Park Superintendent Michael Noonan, at the same meeting.

Similar works are due for the playground in Herbert Park too, he told councillors. “There’s a bit more work involved with that one but I expect that to be finished before Christmas,” he said.

At Harold’s Cross, plans are to renew the playground surface and tackle drainage issues after accidents. There’ll be new amenities too, said Noonan. “Including a swing set, a slide and a seesaw.”

Those will be targeted at the older children: 7- to 12-year-olds, Noonan said. Local children had said the playground was tailored too much towards a younger age group, he said.

By the end of this year, the council’s parks and landscapes services department will have 67 playgrounds around the city, Noonan told councillors. “We have an average spend of €3,000 per playground for just maintenance.”

Independents 4 Change Councillor Pat Dunne asked how Brickfield Park’s playground had been vandalised with approximately €4,000 to €5,000 of damage, when it was supposed to be vandal-proof.

“I’m just wondering is there something we can do to protect them a little bit better?” Dunne said.

“The very minute that you say something is vandal-proof, somebody will prove you wrong,” said Noonan.

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Donal Corrigan: Donal Corrigan is a Dublin-based journalist. To get in contact with him, you can email him on donal.corrigan9@mail.dcu.ie.

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