Civic engagement needed on future access to the Phoenix Park
10 July 2020
Seanad Whip and Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Media, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
Reacting to the news of the re-opening of the perimeter gates to the Phoenix Park by the Office of Public Works, Senator Marie Sherlock has once again reiterated her call to the OPW to open up a process of civic engagement on future access to the Park with all communities and interested users.
Senator Sherlock said:
“The rapid u-turn on reopening the gates of the Phoenix Park without a specific date for a public consultation is bizarre but the commitment to one is welcome. The Minister responsible for the OPW should clarify if this is due to political interference.
“I’m personally disappointed to see the gates re-opened to vehicular traffic after what had been a remarkable couple of months when they were closed during the Covid-19 lockdown.
"However I recognised from my many conversations with residents groups and residents in the vicinity of the Phoenix park that there are many diverse views about access to the Park. As a result I wrote to the OPW in May and again in June to ask them to engage with local communities and interested users and to open up a process of civic engagement".
Senator Sherlock continued:
“I welcome that the OPW has now committed to opening a formal consultation process on a Phoenix Park Traffic Management Strategy with the relevant stakeholders and user groups. I hope that this will be an open and inclusive process that will allow a wide range of persons to express their view; pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. However, it should have been carried out first before such an abrupt change of direction."