Dublin’s newest park, the People’s Park in Ballyfermot, opens today
Published on 24th June 2022
Dublin City Council has today officially opened the city’s newest park to the public after the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland, unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.
A sculpture commissioned for the park as part of ‘Sculpture Dublin’ has also been unveiled.
The new Ballyfermot People’s Park transforms what was an empty green space, known locally as a field since Ballyfermot was first built, into a beautiful park for everybody to enjoy - with grassed and planted mounds, wild areas, play, meeting and performance spaces, vegetable patch, bee sanctuary and market space.
The Lord Mayor said, “The new Ballyfermot People’s Park is a wonderful addition to community life in the Ballyfermot area. It is great to see projects like this come to fruition and I know the park will have a long-lasting and positive impact on the lives of local residents. I was also delighted to today officially unveil the wonderful sculpture ‘Éirímís – Together We Rise’, which was developed in collaboration with the park design team and members of the local community to develop a people’s sculpture for the people’s park.”
While Ballyfermot has a number of parks and open spaces, it was felt that the neighbourhood was lacking a ‘village green’ or park which could be a focus for the community. There was a fenced off open green space at the rear of the Civic Centre. The site was disconnected from the Civic Centre and was undeveloped to the extent that it did not even have a footpath.
Following 8 months of onsite conversations and consultation to elicit the views of the local community, Dublin City Council’s Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services team has completed the construction of the new park.
The park includes a winding perimeter path that wraps around gentle earth mounding and among a diverse range of trees. Along the way is bespoke curved seating, objects that invite play and infrastructure for a market or events.
Over 100 trees have been planted to create a mini native woodland that includes oak, birch, and alder and a number of specimen trees such as beech, larch and pines that we hope will live for over 200 years, establishing this site as a significant veteran parkland for the area. The boundary has been planted with a native mix hedge and large areas of the park with perennial plants enhancing biodiversity providing shelter and food for a diverse range of species.
Responding to the desire by residents for the inclusion of elements for play and exercise for all ages and abilities, a movement trail among the trees has been created as well as the provision of outdoor gym equipment. This addresses the goals of the Dublin City Play Strategy and has been supported with funding from the Department of Health’s Sláintecare Healthy Ireland program that aims to improve the long-term health and well-being of people living in these communities.
The park will provide a gathering place for the community with spaces designed to hold events and activities such as markets and an outdoor classroom for local groups and schools to build awareness of the biodiversity of the park and the wider city.
“The sensory garden will not only be of benefit to our hub in the Civic Centre, our National Learning Network centre in Kylemore road, Ballyfermot, will also be involved,” said Helen Morris from the National Learning Network. “The aim is for it to become a safe and engaging space for our students to develop a range of valuable skills, such as integration in their community, promoting health and wellness by way of being out in the fresh air, while also growing fresh produce. Additionally, students will make use of the produce in our cookery and baking classes. This will be a wonderful opportunity to bring learning outside of the classroom and into an inclusive, supportive, therapeutic environment.”
The sculpture unveiled today was commissioned as part of Dublin City Council’s Sculpture Dublin initiative. The sculpture, 'Éirímís - Together We Rise', involved a process of consultation and collaboration between the community and the artist Breda Marron who set out to capture the spirit of Ballyfermot informed by the stories, histories and desires of the local people.
A new farmers and craft market will tomorrow commence a trial which will be repeated on 23rd July & 3rd September between 11am – 4pm. It will be supported by other activities such as a dog show, a magician and live entertainment with plenty of hot food to choose from the market traders. We envisage that the stalls will sell all sorts of delicious treats and produce, including homemade chocolate, artisan cheeses, organic meat, fresh bread, toasted nuts and handmade preserves.
To support a long term and sustainable market in Ballyfermot, ‘market stall start up’ workshops have been held with local interested people which included advice on branding, food safety, budgeting & legal issues.
***Photographs will be supplied by Collins Photography***