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Dog Park Discussed For Carrigaline

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Cork County Council have indicated their willingness to consider proposals for the creation of a new Dog Park in Carrigaline following a motion brought forward by Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF).

Cllr McGrath made the request at the July meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD), the final meeting before the summer recess, calling on the Council to consider opening up a new park specifically for dog owners to walk their pets.

Speaking in the Council Chambers this week, Cllr McGrath said, “there is a high population of dogs in Carrigaline and we need to provide facilities for them. We’ve debated at length the whole issue of dog fouling and the need for dog owners to be responsible and control their animals and for example not to allow them out onto greens in residential areas to do their business. It really becomes difficult for dog owners in terms of where they can let their dogs leave their hair down so that is why these parks are provided.”

Cllr McGrath noted that he had done some research on the matter, looking up examples of dog parks that are managed by other local authorities. One of the more famous examples in Ireland is Marlay Dog Park in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. In this case, the dog park is an enclosed, hedged area, within which dogs can be let off their leash.

This gives dogs the freedom to run around at their own pace and also to interact socially with other dogs. Dogs off-leash areas are becoming a common feature in public parks across the globe according to the local authority. Dublin is the leader in terms of the availability of dog parks in Ireland, with a number of open space green areas catering for dogs that can be let off the leash in a free but safe environment. Other examples include; St Anne’s Dog Park, Clontarf, Shanganagh Dog Park, Shankill and Corkagh Dog Park, Newlands Cross.

Where Could A Carrigaline Dog Park Go?

While it might be considered that there is no feasible site that could accommodate a new dog park in Carrigaline there are a couple of potential locations in and around the town’s environs. Cllr McGrath briefly listed a few of these areas, such as the circus field on Strand Road, land adjacent to the new Western Relief Road, or perhaps a piece of land that has been zoned for Green Infrastructure as part of the Fernhill Urban Expansion Area.

Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) supported her colleague, giving her own personal experience that while living abroad she encountered many different dog-friendly parks, adding that it was often a source of great social asset, allowing her to meet new people that she is still friends with today. “With Carrigaline’s population expanding and growing I think it would be a great idea and much appreciated by all the dog owners.”

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) also gave her backing, stating that lots of people in her own community of Passage West have made similar requests. Finally, Cllr Jack White (FG) noted the lack of green space he experiences in Carrigaline when walking his own dog, acknowledging like Cllr McGrath that the Community Park in Carrigaline is not a suitable option because of its focus on providing other community assets and amenities. Cllr White hoped that a suitable space could be identified.

Council Executive Officer, Carol Conway, in her response to the motion and the debate said that the Council would be in touch with two local authorities in the Dublin area who have such amenities for dog owners and look for advice on the matter.

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