Litter Mugs posters removed from railing of Sean Walsh Park

By Aideen O'Flaherty

POSTERS that were put on the railings of Sean Walsh Park by a local environmental group, against the planned housing development in the park, were removed, while a council worker fears that there are plans to “wipe away every ounce” of the park’s council depot.

South Dublin County Council announced plans to build an 81-unit older persons’ housing scheme in Sean Walsh Park earlier this year, with plans for the development to be located beside Tallaght Stadium, on the site of the urban farm and council depot which are currently there.

Lisa McAuley Litter Mugs 10

Lisa McAuley from Tallaght Litter Mugs with the posters 

If the plans go ahead, the council depot, the urban farm and two small community gardens on site will be levelled.

Tallaght Litter Mugs recently launched a Save Sean Walsh Park campaign, and the members of the group have been gathering signatures for a petition against the development and expressing their concerns about the impact it could have on the park.

The community group has said that the removal of the depot from the park, which received a Green Flag last July, would “severely erode the ability to maintain the high standards within the park”, and they also voiced concerns about the loss of the urban farm, community gardens and a historic bridge.

Posters with slogans such as Save Sean Walsh Park were put on the railings of the park by the Litter Mugs, with The Echo understanding that the council instructed that they were to be removed.

Lisa McAuley from Tallaght Litter Mugs, who collected the 22 posters that were removed, told The Echo: “We weren’t surprised that the posters were taken down, to be honest, because we put them on the railings around the park and they belong to the council.

“We’ll put them up somewhere else. We’re not objecting to houses being built, we’re objecting to houses being built on a greenspace.”

In a Depot and Organisational Change Review devised by South Dublin County Council last September, they described the continued land use of the Sean Walsh depot as “unsustainable”.

They also found that the location of the Sean Walsh depot should be assessed for a proposal as a site for the development of a housing scheme for older people, as it is “in close proximity” to medical services in the Tallaght area.

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council previously told The Echo that the proposed housing scheme has been planned with the aim of alleviating some of the pressure on the housing list, as it will allow older people to downsize by moving into smaller residential units, and then freeing up other three-bedroom houses for people who are on the housing list.

If the plans go ahead, then council workers who are currently based at the Sean Walsh depot will be moved to the depot in Tymon Park, however, there will be no job losses as a result of this.

'We want to save our depot'

A council worker based in the Sean Walsh depot, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Echo: “We want to save our depot. There are so many other open spaces in the county where they could easily build houses.”

Speaking about the work that went into securing the Green Flag alongside Tallaght Litter Mugs, the worker said: “We put 110 per cent into getting that Green Flag, we love this park.

“There’s no way that level of work can be the same if we’ve to come from Tymon to maintain the area – it would be impossible to maintain that standard.

“[The council] have their own agenda – it’s like they want to wipe away every ounce of the depot. Why do they have to build on our depot?

“We all want to save the depot. Our jobs are going to be saved, but it’s like the area will go from a Green Flag park to a no flag park.”

A spokesperson for the council told The Echo: "I confirm that [the Litter Mugs’] posters were in breach of Litter Pollution Act 1997, as amended and as they were positioned illegally, they were accordingly removed by the council.

“With specific reference to the Green Flag in which the council takes great pride, I can confirm that the council will continue to maintain and develop Sean Walsh Park to ensure that the park retains its Green Flag and provides an amenity for the people of Tallaght.”

For further details and drawings on the proposed development in Sean Walsh Park, or to make a submission by Friday, November 9, visit https://consult.sdublincoco.ie

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