Wednesday 26 October 2016

No footbridge at tragic spot where dad and son drowned until next year

Tyler Joyce
Tyler Joyce

A footbridge at the spot where a father and son drowned seven weeks ago will not be in place until some time next year.

Sean Sweeney and his son Tyler Joyce (3) were discovered drowned in a ditch on Easter Sunday.

Mr Sweeney was believed to have been taking a shortcut through Ashington Park in Dublin when the tragedy happened.


Many people had used holes in fencing and a broken wall to make a shortcut between Ashington and Pelletstown over a considerable time, despite continuing repair work to the fence and wall by Irish Rail and Dublin City Council Parks Department.

Speaking after the tragedy, Tyler's heartbroken mum Pamela called for a bridge to be installed at the site because it was constantly being vandalised in order to create a shortcut.

"Why can't they make a little walkway? It's not going to cost them much," she said.

"If they do something then we could say that Tyler's life wasn't lost, because somebody else was saved."

Members of Dublin City Council's north west area committee will consider a report about the possibility of building a footbridge at the spot in the coming months.

They are due to discuss the matter tomorrow.


However, the report stated that a footbridge has already been planned at the location as part of the new Pelletstown train station which is hoped may finally begin construction next year.

The station will have two integrated footbridges, one which spans both the railway and the Royal Canal.

It is considered the best long-term solution to people risking their lives crossing the rail line and canal.

A meeting between the council's park department and Irish Rail staff on April 27 considered the possibility of building a temporary footbridge at the site or else seeking a prompt start to the railway station project.

The report stated it was unlikely that funding would be available to provide a temporary bridge.

It was also considered unlikely that the railway station project would be brought forward to this year.

An existing fence and wall at the location was intended to protect people within Ashington Park and to deter people from crossing the rail line.

The wall and fence have been breached many times over the years and repeatedly repaired.

Both the council and Irish Rail monitor the fence and repair it as breaches occur.

Funding has been provided by the National Transport Authority for the detailed design phase of the train station and this will be completed by the end of this year.

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