4.2.7 Non-core facilities

Facilities for non-core sports are unevenly distributed throughout the city and include: golf courses/pitch and putt greens, bowls, boules, skateparks, table tennis, handball and fitness trails/outdoor gyms. The provision of these facilities should be developed where significant interest arises or on a one per electoral area basis.

Golf Course:

Silllogue Park

Pitch & Putt:

St Anne’s Park

Longmeadows Park

Bellcamp Park

Edenmore Park

Tolka Valley Park


Golf / Pitch and Putt

There are no golf courses in the City, however there are a number of courses located on the periphery, including the Dublin City Council operated Sillogue Park Golf Course near the Airport. This is an 18 hole championship public golf course, officially opened by Christy O’Connor Senior in 1984. Since then the golf course has matured beautifully with tree-lined

fairways in a parkland setting.

The provision of pitch and putt courses is not based on a specific demand but the availability of suitable locations that can accommodate the land requirement. Dublin City Council operates 5 golf and pitch and putt facilities, each offering its own unique experience and benefits for every type of user.

Lawn Bowls

Kenilworth Bowling Club, based in Kenilworth Square in Rathgar was built in the 1890s and was the first in Dublin. Apart from Herbert Park Bowling Club, which is over 60 years in existence, Crumlin Bowling Club and a new provision at St. Anne’s Park, the provision for lawn bowls in Dublin City is by private clubs with competitions organised by the Bowling League of Ireland.

The provision of new facilities in parks will be considered subject to the formation of a club that will use the facility.


This game, which is normally associated with France and Italy, is played in St Anne’s Park, Herbert Park, Bushy Park and Albert College Park. The game, involving teams competing to throw their boules as close as possible to a target ball, requires the provision of a gravel piste or playing surface. The game can be played informally or through clubs organised by the Irish Petanque Association.


Traditionally cycling in parks has been banned by bye-laws but this makes less sense in the context of encouraging more active life styles. ‘Greenways’ are defined in the context of cycling as non-motorised transport routes for cyclists which are shared by walkers and other park users. Issues do arise however where cyclists come in conflict with other park users because ‘cycletracks’, which are constructed as part of road carriageways specifically for commuters, are now being confused with greenways. Cycling through a public park, whether a river valley or an urban park, needs to be done responsibly and with due respect for other park users. The City Council is yet to develop a policy for how signage and awareness raising can be integrated with pavement improvements, for which significant funding is now available.

The outdoor velodrome in Sundrive Park provides for track-cycling training and events managed by Cycling Ireland. The original track was constructed in the 1950s and more recently upgraded in 2009.

Outdoor gyms

The number of outdoor gyms has increased over the past decade and a greater range of quality products have also become available. They typically comprise of equipment designed for particular gym exercises for general fitness and instructions for use are given on the equipment. Currently there are outdoor gyms located along the Sandymount and Clontarf promenades, California Hill Park, Blessington Street Basin Park and Fr Collins Park. Many more will be installed over the next few years subject to funding.

Sea based water sports

Sea bathing and swimming is increasingly popular and to facilitate this on Bull Island solar powered showers have been provided on the beach which is maintained to a Blue Flag standard. Shelters on the Bull Wall are being considered for adaptation to provide greater shelter for the bathers who use this location daily. Other shoreline locations will be considered for improvements to steps, handrails, shelter and solar showers to facilitate sea bathing.

The Bull Island has developed as a key location for kite surfing and similar water sports and is considered to be one of the best locations in Ireland for this activity. Consideration is being given to providing a seasonal recreational centre on the beach at Dollymount for this activity. Beach Volleyball Ireland has requested areas to be identified in the city for this sport in addition to the use of Dollymount beach. Boat and yacht clubs access the bay from various locations, particularly on north Dublin Bay. Each of these locations, requires investment to promote these activities.

Other Sports

One handball court is provided in St Michan’s Park in the city centre. Handball as a sport was widely popular throughout the country from the 1940s to the 70s, however its popularity declined and the modern development of the game is provided for now by the GAA using indoor facilities.

Table tennis developed from a Victorian-era pastime into an Olympic sport with worldwide appeal . The sport is largely an indoor pursuit and in Ireland its governed by Table Tennis Ireland. However, one outdoor concrete table is provided for in Mountjoy Square Park and consideration will be given to providing others in appropriate locations.


  • Dublin City Council will continue to provide and maintain a range of recreational opportunities within its parks and work with governing bodies of sport and activities to strategically plan development of facilities without impact on passive uses or character of particular parks or open spaces.
  • To ensure that any future all-weather facilities are available to as wide a range of sports as possible in the local community, that local schools have access during the day and early evening and that all the users of the facility contribute to a fund that will cover the cost of renewal of the facility at the end of its efficient use period, e.g. 10 to 12 years for a synthetic surface.


  • To provide, where possible, park perimeter paths and paths between interconnecting parks to develop accessible walking routes and promote jogging.
  • To assess the potential of provision of new all-weather pitch facilities within the canals area and the Terenure area, in particular where opportunities of new open space provision arise.
  • To provide a new playing pitch as part of the St.Teresa’s Gardens redevelopment.
  • To identify opportunities to partner with schools within the canals area to develop community training facilities, particularly in the South Central Area.
  • To prepare an audit of playing fields to ensure that the quality and maintenance is in accordance with best practice to maximise use.
  • To enhance tennis facilities at Rockfield Park, Bushy Park and Herbert Park.
  • To develop a policy for managing and signing cycling in parks so as to better manage the conflict between cyclists and other park users.
  • To assess the potential of new beach volleyball sites in coastal parks/beaches
  • To provide for new skateparks city-wide, commencing with LeFanu Park in Ballyfermot in 2019.