New dog parks set to expand across the county
Designated dog parks are proving so popular that Dublin councils are investigating extending them across the county.
Off-leash areas have been successfully introduced into many parks throughout Europe to cater for the demand for facilities for dogs and to help reduce conflicts with other park users.
One of the first areas in Ireland was established in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham earlier this year. The cordoned-off field was opened on a pilot basis in July and a spokeperson for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it has been a popular addition to the park.
Senior Parks Superintendent Leslie Moore said that a second dog park was recently installed at Shanganagh Park, Shankill.
"Because of the success of this project we are now considering providing these facilities in other parks throughout the county, subject to finance being available," he said.
The dog park in Marlay was designed and built by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Parks and Landscape Services and cost in the region of €5,000.
The area is surrounded by fencing and has a reception area which dogs must enter before they are allowed off the leash.
Dublin City Council has put a facility in place in St Anne's Park, Clontarf, and a representative for South County Council has confirmed that it is also investigating a facility for dog users within Tymon Park.
Orla Aungier, of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA), said: "There is a lot of research around dog parks and the socialisation of dogs. They are better behaved and get into less trouble and fewer fights."
The DSPCA also has plans to open Ireland's first off-leash dog park at its Rathfarnham grounds, where a low monthly membership fee will be charged.