Dublin City Council reopens rejuvenated Wolfe Tone Park
Published on 17th May 2022
Dublin City Council has today reopened Wolfe Tone Park following recent regeneration works by the Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services team. The official reopening was carried out by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland.
Wolfe Tone Park is nestled into a busy shopping and business district in the north inner city. In its latest iteration it has been restored as an oasis of green space for the respite, rest and relaxation of locals and visitors. A contemplative ‘garden’ has also been created using the memorials which have been carefully restored by conservation specialists.
The Lord Mayor thanked local businesses and Dublin Town for their patience and support during the construction period which coincided with the pandemic and said, “I can see Wolfe Tone Park becoming a focal point to be enjoyed by the people of Dublin and a welcome addition to what Dublin has to offer to everyone in the city – local residents and those working in and visiting the city. Parks play a huge role in supporting people’s wellbeing providing an outdoor space for recreation. They are also crucial to greening our city, both to increase our biodiversity and enhance our air quality”.
Originally a market space in the 18th century as part of the Jervis Estate, it became the graveyard attached to St Mary’s Church, and remained so until it was deconsecrated in 1966. It was first laid out as a park in 1998 by Dublin Corporation and re-designed in 2001 as an ‘urban plaza’. It was subsequently used regularly for events which in hindsight were probably not appropriate in a former burial ground, however the new design is respectful of the site context and the Parks team have worked closely with Ruth Johnson, City Archaeologist, carrying out a full survey and inventory of the grave memorials.
Leslie Moore, Head of Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services said “I am delighted that we have been able to restore an oasis of calm and the ambiance of a park to this small space in the north inner city. The design and use of materials is respectful of the former burial ground and I hope that people will enjoy the park with a similar respect for the space and other users.”
The completion of the project which was delayed by the pandemic is timely in the context of the City returning to a post pandemic normal. Frank Lambe, City Recovery Manager, welcomed the official opening of the new upgraded Wolfe Tone Park stating, “This is a fantastic park for all to enjoy in a wonderful location right in the heart of the City.”
The design for the park reconfigured the thresholds to four pedestrian entrance points which has created a sense of enclosure within which a new 475sqm lawn has been laid, twenty one trees and a mixture of herbaceous perennials, bulbs, ornamental grasses and hedging shrubs have been planted. These will provide for year round interest and colour but also a biodiversity-rich environment for pollinators and wildlife in the city.
The project involved the removal of parking spaces adjoining the park on Wolfe Tone Street and Jervis Street and the narrowing of the carriageway on Wolfe Tone Street to maximise the public realm for pedestrians.
The highest quality materials have been used for this important city park. The new pavements and carriageway of Wolfe Tone Street have been constructed with Leinster granite, traditional Dublin setts and salvaged antique granite kerbing. The existing bench seating has been refurbished and new bench seating has been installed using granite and Orocco timber for additional comfort.
The reopening of Wolfe Tone Park and the recent opening of Bridgefoot Street Park demonstrates Dublin City Council’s commitment to its ‘Greening’ strategies. Improving access to quality greenspace and nature where opportunities arise for the benefit of the local communities and visitors alike.
***Photographs from today’s opening will be circulated by Fennell Photography***
The Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services team is headed up by Leslie Moore.
The project has been managed by Peter Leonard, Acting Senior Parks Officer and Landscape Architect and Gareth Toolan, Executive Landscape Architect, the re-design of the park has also been supported by Dermot Foley Landscape Architects.
Ruth Johnson, City Archaeologist, was also important at supporting the project.
The construction was carried out by Clonmel Enterprises. The conservation work was carried out by Carraig conservation. O’Connor Sutton Cronin were the consulting engineers for the project.