Monthly Archives: April 2018

Fingal trials vinegar and steam instead of weedkillers in Parks

Fingal County Council is reducing pesticide use, implementing policy changes sought by Grern Councillors. This includes both letting wild plants grow in some areas and trialling safer alternatives to conventional pesticides.

As reported to this month’s Council meeting, alternatives including steam and foam are being used to deal with weeds coming up in locations like paving cracks. Visitors to Malahide Demesne may notice the smell of vinegar which is being used as a substitute for the controversial weedkiller Glyphosate.

Commenting on the implementation of the new policy, Cllr. David Healy said: “Phasing out pesticides is vital to protect our insects, particularly the pollinating insects which have such an important role in ecosystems. Our parks and open spaces must be places where nature can thrive. Green thinking says ‘think globally, act locally’ and we are very glad that Fingal is putting this into practice.”

Cllr Roderic O’Gorman commented: “It is good to see Fingal responding to the public concerns at the use of toxic chemicals in public places. As Councillors we hear these concerns first-hand. When people visit their local parks and open spaces, they want to be confident that these are safe and healthy places, in which they can let their children play freely.”

The update given to Fingal County Council’s monthly meeting regarding the plan can be found here.

My submission which led to the change in policy (including some photos of non-use of herbicides elsewhere) is available here.

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is here.

Threat to Malahide Demesne resurfaces for a third time

Unfortunately, the threat to tarmac over some of the playing pitches at Bridgefield in Malahide Demesne has reappeared.

A report on parking in Malahide was brought to the March Area Committee. It seems to be intended to make the case for the conversion of some of the Bridgefield pitches to car parking.

The proposal to convert playing pitches to car park was originally made in 2009. The Council initiated a Part 8 process but abandoned it due to the strength of public opposition.

The proposal reappeared in late 2015, together with a proposed Forest Adventure Area. Despite the fact that the Law Agent advised that the relevant planning regulations hadn’t been complied with, a bare majority on the Council approved the proposal.  That proposal was abandoned in 2016 following a High Court challenge by local resident Noel Mahon.

I will continue to oppose any further conversion of parkland to car parking. We need to protect the Demesne for future generations, improving access by foot, bicycle and public transport.

This recurrent proposal is undermining public confidence in the management by the Council of the wonderful asset. In September I proposed that there should be some sort of formal or informal input from park users and the local community. The proposal didn’t get the necessary level of support but I think it is worth returning to.