herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Drug-hit city park is reopened after €120k clean-up

Dublin Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh officially reopened the Croppies Acre 1798 Memorial Park to the public Picture: Steve Humphreys
Dublin Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh officially reopened the Croppies Acre 1798 Memorial Park to the public Picture: Steve Humphreys

The historic Croppies Acre Memorial Park has been re-opened after years of anti-social behaviour forced it to close its gates to the public.

The park, thought to be the burial ground for croppies or rebels killed during the 1798 Rebellion, was off-limits because of problems with drug-users gathering there.

It was closed in 2012 by the Office of Public Works - only a year after €35,000 had been spent on upgrading it.

However, the problems continued in the walled park on Wolfe Tone Quay, and private staff were repeatedly drafted in to remove used needles.

Tourists

The latest upgrade has cost Dublin City Council, which took charge of the park in 2014, €120,000 to complete.

The work included the provision of a new path, upgrading of the existing gates and the provision of a new pedestrian gate at the south west end.

The memorial structures were also upgraded, along with general landscape improvement works.

Speaking at the re-opening ceremony Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhailigh said it would now be a draw for locals and tourists who visit the National Museum of Ireland.

"This park is very visible and it will be pleasing to see it being used by people for passive and active recreation, and in this centenary year of 1916 to remember further back to 1798 and the vision of the United Irishman who sought equality," she said.

Opening the park was one of her last official acts as Lord Mayor as she enters the final weeks of her term in the Mansion House.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn, who has championed the park, said it was a "long, long road" to get it re-opened.

He also expressed concern that plans to run the new Liffey Cycle route through part of the park are still on the table.

The plans have been opposed by locals and others keen to preserve the park's history.

However, a recent report commissioned as part of the pre-planning process for the controversial cycling route said the grave site may not be located within the park.

"No additional information regarding this could be ascertained in 2015 and it remains possible that the burial location could be anywhere within Croppies Acre Memorial Park, or not in the park at all," the report said.

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