Dogs on Bull Island

The council won’t be sending park rangers after dog owners on Bull Island who don’t have their pets on a lead anymore, Dublin County Council Parks Superintendent Fergus O’Carroll told councillors Monday.

“When we sent rangers out to talk to dog owners, they got a huge amount of abuse. One of the guys had a nervous breakdown,” O’Carroll said Monday at a meeting of the council’s North Central Area Committee at the Northside Civic Centre.

Instead, the council will try an educational approach to encourage dog owners not to go beyond a certain point on the north end of the Bull Island, where it’s used for ground-nesting birds and for seals.

“Now what we are not going to do is threaten them with bye-laws or rules or enforcement,” he said. “Instead, we are going to explain what is special about that part of the island and ask them not to go any further.”

In certain parts of the dunes, they just want dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead. “We’re not saying that you can’t go there anymore,” he said.

An advisory committee will be set up to see how they will deliver on protecting the wildlife in the area, O’Carroll told councillors. “We would be inviting local residents’ committees and NGOs to the oversight committee,” he said.

Changes at St Anne’s Park

A plan to add more car-parking spaces and a new pavilion at St Anne’s Park was presented to councillors on Monday at the North Central Area Committee meeting.

There would be 108 new spaces, and the pavilion, which would be beside the playground, would provide toilets, said Dublin City Council Executive Landscape Architect Christine Todd.

“As well as the toilets it would have an ice cream or cafe kiosk, so this would activate the area,” said Todd.

The proposed Part 8 application – the council’s route to get approval for its own planning applications – was presented to councillors for feedback.

“I would be a bit concerned about the pavilion,” said Sinn Féinn Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha.

“You’re talking about more consumption and more generation of waste. I think we need to keep the natural feel of the park as much as possible,” he said.

The introduction of more car-parking spaces raised concerns from Green Party Councillor Donna Cooney.

“Maybe we should look at how people could get access to the park without driving by car,” Cooney said.

Clontarf Baths, Still

The Clontarf baths are fully compliant with their Dublin City Council planning permission, the council’s North Central Area manager, Coilín O’Reilly, told the committee meeting on Monday.

The Baths at Clontarf restaurant opened in February 2018, but the swimming facility there is yet to be opened to the general public. This has been an issue ever since.

O’Reilly had looked into the issue and was presenting his findings to the committee.

He said he had engaged with Clontarf Swimming Club and Dublin City Council Planning Department, as well as visiting the site and researching how it had operated in the past, said O’Reilly.

The Clontarf baths are longer and deeper than regular swimming pools and the colour of the seawater in them makes it hard to see the bottom of the pool, O’Reilly said.

“Therefore, from an insurance perspective, the only way that Clontarf baths would be able to operate is through members of Swim Ireland, and that you have to access through the club,” he said.

“Part of what we were told was that if The Clontarf Bath company were to give a long lease to the Clontarf Swimming Club then that would facilitate them,” said Green Party Councillor Donna Cooney.

What is the current situation with public access to the pool? asked Heney, the Fianna Fáil councillor.

O’Reilly responded: “What I would envisage is something like during the summer we open up the pool on a Saturday morning for two hours and see what the numbers are like.”

Heney said she was still unhappy with the result of the project. “I would prefer if they [owners of Clontarf Baths] were not let away with being so disregarding of our planning process,” she said.

Postering in Darndale

Dublin City Council will look at reintroducing a scheme with local schools in Darndale to deter illegal dumping in the area.

This was suggested by Dublin City Council Public Domain Officer Richard Cleary at Monday’s meeting.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Deirdre Heney said schoolchildren should be included in the effort to deter illegal dumping in the area.

“It would great if kids could go home with posters that they have made themselves and have some kind of event where they erect these posters in the area,” she said

This project previously ran before, in 2009. “We held an art competition in the school to highlight illegal dumping,” said Cleary.

The children who won the competition would have their artwork printed out and hung on their street, he said.

“What we done was we got it printed on the same style as election posters so no matter what the weather was they would be hanging up on the road,” he said.

Labour’s Alison Gilliland said she thought illegal dumping was a symptom of things that are lacking in Darndale. “It’s a very small cohort of people that are doing this. I think the posters are a great idea.”

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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