Age-Friendly Harold’s Cross

Harold’s Cross should be revamped into an age-friendly village, argued a recent motion at a meeting of Dublin City Council’s South East Area councillors.

The motion was brought forward by Fine Gael Councillor Anne Feeney and Labour Councillor Mary Freehill – promoting an idea that local residents have been pushing for some time.

The councillors were looking for money to be set aside for this project – in line with another motion that was agreed last year.

“This is an opportunity to pilot an age-friendly village in Harold’s Cross. As a model that could be used in other areas,” said Feeney, of Fine Gael.

Freehill, of Labour, said an effort needs to be made to establish the needs of isolated older people.

“The real danger is that you call on the people who are already out there, the people who are already active in the community. Our challenge is to find the hard to find,” she said.

Council official John McEvilly said that Dublin City Council had sent a survey to the area asking for ideas.

McEvilly said he agreed with Freehill that the council needed to reach out to isolated people in the area. “We’ve committed to a workshop for older people.”

Dirty Beaches

Why was Merrion Strand being closed for swimming? Labour Councillor Dermot Lacey wanted to know.

At the recent meeting of the council’s South East Area Committee, he sought a report from council officials on that question.

The bathing water in Merrion Strand has been classified as poor quality by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the last four years in its “Bathing Water Quality In Ireland” report.

“All I’m concerned about is that we have within the city boundaries a beach that is closed due to environmental unhealthy reasons,” Lacey said.

The motion also called for a report on actions that could be taken so that the beach will not be shut down for a lengthy period.

Fine Gael Councillor James Geoghegan glommed a second motion onto Lacey’s motion, calling for an assessment of how the council carries out its regulating responsibility for bathing water.

Geoghegan’s motion also asked how the council’s power could be strengthened “to both preserve existing bathing waters and increase public awareness of the factors contributing to its diminution”.

“The management of our waters is being done in a way that is not transparent,” Geoghegan said, at the meeting.

“We can certainly request that that would happen but it would be up to the department who is involved in it,” said Executive Manager for the South City Mary Taylor.

Back in 2018, the council was on the hunt for the causes of pollution at both Sandymount Strand and Merrion Strand.

Pollution at both locations was likely down to drainage misconnections, birds and dogs, and surface water from two nearby Elm Park and Trimleston steams, a council spokesperson said at the time.

Dead Swan Alert

Who is in charge of disposing of a dead swan?

“There is a dead swan in Portobello at the moment and I was just wondering whose responsibility it is,” said Green Party Councillor Claire Byrne, at the South East Area Committee meeting.

“Is it our [responsibility] or Waterways Ireland’s to deal with that? Or do you just let nature take its course?”

“We will check very quickly who has the responsibility for the dead swan and we’ll come back very quickly on that,” said South East Area Manager Brian Hanney.

Donal Corrigan is a city reporter for Dublin Inquirer. He covers transport, and the southside. To get in contact with him, you can email him on

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