Category Archives: Parks

safety barrier installed adjacent to new bridge at Prospect Manor Estate



Tuesday, September 15, 2009


QUESTION: Councillor C. Keane

“To ask the Manager for an update on my previous request to clean up river bank and have a safety barrier installed adjacent to new bridge at Prospect Manor Estate to prevent children running down hill directly into river. I was informed in previous reply this was being considered?”


The area in question is subject to ongoing significant works relating to the Boherboy Water Scheme which is being undertaken under contract by the Council’s Environmental Services Department. When these works have been completed and the pedestrian paths and landscaped areas reinstated, the Parks Department will arrange for the installation of a safety barrier adjacent to the new bridge, subject to the identification of the necessary resources to undertake the works.

UPdate on Rathfarnham Castle Park & playground.




Tuesday, April 07, 2009



The following report on RATHFARNHAM CASTLE  PARK  was adopted.

To address the issue of anti-social behaviour at Rathfarnham Castle Park, particularly at night-time, and to assist the Gardai in their ability to enforce the law as it relates to trespass and public order offences, the Parks Department and the OPW have committed to pursue the principle of night-time closure of the gates of Rathfarnham Castle Park to enhance security and discourage access to the Park outside of normal park opening hours.  To advance this matter, the Parks Department have identified that three entrances to the Park under the control of the Council are suitable for locking at the present time – at The Woodlands, Castleside Drive and on Rathfarnham Road opposite the Yellow House. 

In this regard, the Council placed notices on these three gates on  6th March 2009 notifying members of the public of the Council’s intention to close these gates at night-time with effect from 6th April 2009.  The notices were displayed for a two week period to include two weekends.  The proposed opening times for the gates are from 8am on Monday –Friday when the gates can be opened by staff in attendance at the Parks depot in Rathfarnham Castle Park and from 10.30am on Saturday and Sunday when they will be opened by Park Rangers who will travel from Tymon Park to open the gates having completed gate opening duties in Tymon Park at 10am.  The gates will be closed by the Park Rangers, again travelling from Tymon Park and the closing times will vary seasonally as follows:

4.00pm  – November, December, January

5.00pm  – February, March

6.00pm – April, October

7.00pm – May, September

8.00pm – June, July, August

These closing times are one hour before the closing times for Tymon Park to enable the Park Rangers to travel to Rathfarnham, clear the park and lock the gates before returning to Tymon Park to complete the same duties there before park closure.  Members of the public were invited to submit written observations or comments on the proposed closures either by e-mail to or by letter addressed to the Senior Parks Superintendent, Parks and Landscape Services, South Dublin County Council, County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24. The closing date for submissions was 5pm on Friday, March 20th, 2009.

A total of 20 submissions were received from individuals, public representatives and resident’s groups which included petitions from both the Rathfarnham Castle Residents Association and the Rathfarnham Wood Residents Association.  Submissions in favour of the proposed night-time closure highlighted the night-time nuisance and disturbance experienced by local residents from anti-social behaviour in Rathfarnham Castle Park.  Some residents favour the principle of night-time closure but expressed reservations with regard to the proposed opening and closing times. 

Submissions received from residents of Rathfarnham Wood were primarily in opposition to the proposed night-time closure of the gates for a variety of reasons as follows: the proposed opening and closing times are not in accordance with the times that local residents require access into and through the park.  In particular, the proposed opening time of 8am on weekdays does not favour those who wish to access early morning buses or to walk dogs in advance of going to work and the proposed opening time of 10.30am on Saturday and Sunday does not favour those who use the shortcut through the park to access local church services at an earlier time.  Submissions also cited the inconvenience of taking longer routes along the public roads to access village amenities outside of the proposed park opening hours.  The proposed closing times were also an issue for people who wished to access the park for recreation in the evening and to use the shortcut to the amenities of Rathfarnham Village.

A meeting was held on 1st April, 2009 at Rathfarnham Castle to discuss the submissions received and identify a means of progressing with night-time closure of the gates whilst simultaneously addressing the concerns raised in submissions received.  In attendance at the meeting were representatives from both Rathfarnham Castle and Rathfarnham Woods Residents Associations, officials from the Council’s Parks Department, officials from the Office of Public Works and representatives from An Garda Síochána, Rathfarnham.  

Considerable discussion took place with regard to issues raised in the submissions received by the Parks Department.  It was generally accepted that anti-social behaviour at Rathfarnham Castle Park is not a new experience but the advent of the new playground has brought about a change of location and focus for anti-social activities within the park.  Officials from the OPW outlined the nature and extent of vandalism inflicted on the Castle itself while the Gardai confirmed their difficulty in law enforcement and pursuing prosecutions whilst access gates remain open at night-time implying consent for trespass.

Arising from the discussion of the meeting, agreement was reached in principle between all parties present to the objective of pursuing night-time closure of all access gates into Rathfarnham Castle Park but subject to agreeing more flexible opening hours than currently proposed.  In order to achieve early opening of the park to accommodate residents who use the park to access buses, the church, village amenities and to exercise and walk dogs, a proposal was put forward for further consideration whereby a number of local residents could become keyholders for the park gates to open them early in the morning.  A further proposal to be considered is the installation of locking mechanisms on the gates which would operate on a timer to release the gate locks at an agreed time.  The gates would still have to be closed manually in the evening by the Park Ranger service. 

The Parks Department iscommitted to engaging in further discussion with both the Rathfarnham Castle Residents Association and Rathfarnham Wood Residents Association to explore the times and means of implementing night-time closure of Rathfarnham Castle Park.  In the meantime, it was proposed that the Parks Department would continue to progress the matter as follows:

·        To implement closure on a pilot basis of the gates from Castleside and The Woodlands in accordance with proposed opening and closing times as advertised.  This will be reviewed after a month to examine any issues that arise and consider the suitability of the opening and closing times.

·        The existing access from Rathfarnham Road and car park is currently without a gate.  The OPW have recently submitted a planning application which includes proposals for the provision of a new gated boundary at this location.  In the interim, it is proposed to erect a temporary fence and gate to enable night-time closure of this access point. 

·        The Rathfarnham Wood entrance to the park is currently accessed via an anti-cycle gate and it is proposed to progress with installation of a new lockable gate which will remain unlocked at night in the short term pending agreement with the Rathfarnham Wood Residents Association with regard to the operation and timing of its opening and closing.

The proposed night-time closure of the access gate opposite the Yellow House is deferred until it can be implemented in tandem with agreed arrangements for the gate from Rathfarnham Wood.

Whitecliffe – construction of new wall on open space


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


MOTION: tabled by  Councillor Cáit Keane


“That this Committee recommends in light of the fact that the Whitecliffe Residents Association have not agreed to have the building of the wall on their green area deferred (as stated in answer to my previous question on this issue) and to have the money that was allocated for the construction of this wall in the 2008 budget utilized for this purpose immediately.”


A sum of €12,000 was allocated under the 2007 Parks Works Programme for the proposed construction of a low boundary wall along the Whitecliff open space at Whitechurch Road.  The proposed installation of the low wall was discussed by the Parks Department on a number of occasions during 2007 with representatives of the Whitecliff Residents Association.  Given that the re-alignment of that section of the Whitechurch Road is a long term road proposal in the 2004-2010 Development Plan, it was agreed with the residents that the installation of the wall be deferred with a view to it being provided as part of the Whitechurch Road re-alignment.  In this context, the Parks Department discussed with the Residents Association the consideration of using the funding to replace the existing boulders along the open space boundary with wooden bollards to upgrade the appearance of the boundary.  The Residents Association declined this proposal and the funding which was allocated under the 2007 Parks Works Programme ceased to be available at the year end.  The proposed re-alignment of the Whitechurch Road has not yet advanced to design stage, and in the absence of an agreed new line for the road at Whitecliff estate, it is not considered appropriate or best use of resources to construct a boundary wall at this location which may be subject to removal in the future to facilitate the re-alignment of the road.

Rathfarnham Castle Playground


Tuesday, February 12, 2008


MOTION: Councillor Cait Keane


“That this committee (a) discuss the provision of parking for the new Playground at Rathfarnham Castle and to revisit my suggestion of the provision of a small carpark to facilitate this playground & the formal garden inside the main gates of Rathfarnham Castle – otherwise as stated previously parking will take place on the quiet residential road of Woodlands and Castleside Rathfarnham – taking into consideration that Rathfarnham Castle and courtyards are for community use as well. (b)  to work towards the provision of a Park Ranger for this park and to have stated opening and closing times displayed on all access gates. (c) to state the remit of the current 24 hours security service currently at the castle is this internal to the Castle — does this facility extend to security of the grounds as well? (d) to state who will monitor the CCTV cameras and what part of the park will the CCTV monitor.”


Car parking facilities currently exist at the entrance to Rathfarnham Castle Park from Rathfarnham Road and will be linked to the new children’s playground by a new pedestrian pathway.  Requirements for additional parking will be monitored and addressed as necessary. 

The matter of a continuous staff presence in the park is currently being examined and the members will be kept informed of developments in this regard.

The Parks & Landscape Services Department is currently undertaking a review of signage requirements in all of its parks and it is planned to implement a new signage strategy during 2008 which will include details of park opening hours.

The current 24 hour security service is operated internally within Rathfarnham Castle by the OPW.  The exterior of the castle is monitored under this service by CCTV cameras and the Parks & Landscape Services Department will liaise with the OPW to enable incorporation of the new children’s playground within the CCTV monitoring system.