OPW should reopen Stephens Green

17 April 2020

Labour Councillor Kevin Donoghue has called on the Minister responsible for the OPW to consider reopening St Stephen’s Green for local access. The 22 acre park is the largest of the parks in Dublin’s main Georgian garden squares and has been closed as part of restrictions around Covid-19.

Cllr Donoghue said:

“The restrictions that are in place are absolutely necessary and need to be adhered to. However we need to recognise the inherent privilege in being able to respond to Covid-19 in this manner and accept that not all homes are built equally. There is a lot of apartments and according to the CSO upwards of 20,000 people in that area. People need to be able to get out and exercise within the 2km.

“Other parks have remained opened including Merrion Square park, Herbert park and St. Anne’s in the North of the city. The park is managed by the Office of Public Works and falls under the remit of Minister of State Kevin “Boxer” Moran in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

“These restrictions have been in place for a period of weeks and the Taoiseach has indicated they may be going beyond the 5th of May. In that context we need to consider how comfortable we can make people while still adhering to guidelines.

“The closure of St Stephen’s Green severely restricts local access to green space in the area. Other parks in the city are open and I have written to the council to ask them to look at doing the same for St Stephen’s Green. It could even take pressure off some of the other parks.”

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