Fears raised over impact of clearance works on wildlife

By Mary Dennehy

CONCERNS have been raised over the impact that clearance works on a stretch of the River Poddle is having on local wildlife and biodiversity.

The stretch of river, which runs to the rear of St Joseph’s School and into Tymon Park, has been cleared of hedges and trees, and the riverbed scraped clean.

Poddle River 1 1

An area of the River Poddle cleaned in Tymon Park by the council

Members of a community-led group called Friends of Tymon Park, which carries out regular clean-ups in the area and keeps a watchful eye on the park’s wildlife, this week voiced their concerns.

The volunteer group also raised their concerns with the council, after fears grew that work was to continue downstream – work which park users believe would destroy a “thriving ecosystem” that lives beneath the river’s carpet of vegetation.

According to volunteer Brian MacCormaic: “It seems the department within South Dublin County Council which is responsible for this work is working independently of the Parks and Environment departments without any consultation whatsoever.

“They show no concern for the effects of their works on the environment or on the wildlife that depends on the river and its hedgerows for feeding and nesting.

“Many of our breeding birds will be raising their young at this time and rely entirely on the river and its environs for their food. The law prohibits hedge-cutting and burning from March 1 to August 31, yet all hedges, along with mature trees, have been ruthlessly cut down and the riverbed scraped clean.

“We fear now that this work will continue along the length of Tymon Park, and members of Friends of Tymon Park will keep a vigil to oppose the work should it continue.”

When contacted by The Echo, Teresa Walsh, Director of Service with South Dublin County Council, confirmed that the works, which were “necessary”, are now complete.

“This was emergency flood prevention work which was necessary and was carried out by the council’s Drainage Section,” Ms Walsh said.

“The council had received complaints of a sizable quantity of illegal dumping at a stretch of the river near the new Castletymon Library site [which lies across from Tymon Park].

“The area was cleaned and four truckloads of illegally dumped materials were removed.

“It was also necessary to cut back some vegetation that was considered a hazard and could cause a blockage in the channel.

“The works are now complete.”

For further information on Friends of Tymon Park visit their Facebook page.

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