The Office for Public Works have announced the re-opening of the gates around the Phoenix Park on Friday, July 10th.

This decision has come as something of a surprise, as it is contrary to recent statements issued by the OPW.

The OPW has also announced a consultation on a Traffic Management Strategy for the Phoenix Park. This is welcome – it is important that people who enjoy the park and those living close to it have an opportunity to give their views.

I have written to Minister Patrick O’Donovan regarding the consultation, and you can see my email below.

Dear Patrick,

We spoke last Thursday afternoon when you rang me to inform me of the decision to re-open the ancillary gates at the Phoenix Park. During our conversation, you also referenced a proposed consultation about the ongoing use of the Park, involving various related stakeholders.

The decision on reopening the gates, contrary to recent previous statements issued by the OPW, including in correspondence directly to me, came as something of a surprise. I understand that there were problems with the gate closures which needed resolving, but I also believe it is important that we do not lose the benefits gained in the last few months.

Having sat as a member of Fingal County Council for five and a half years, representing a Local Electoral District adjacent to the Phoenix Park, I always found the OPW reluctant as an organisation to engage in real dialogue on issues related to the overall management of the Park.

As such, I welcome the wider consultation on the Phoenix Park Traffic Management Strategy that you referenced. It is important that people who enjoy the park and those living close to it have an opportunity to give their views and work constructively with the Office of Public Works, Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, and An Garda Síochána.

I believe that a quick options paper and rapid public consultation, to conclude within three months would be best, with the agreed aim to reduce motor traffic through the park – an objective which we all share.

I would be grateful if you could provide me with more detail on the proposed timeframe, membership, and aims of the consultation in order for me to keep my constituents informed.   

Kind regards,

Roderic O’Gorman TD