Online petition calls for public playground in Firhouse

by Mark O'Brien
Carly Bailey has started a petition calling for a public playground in Firhouse

An online petition is calling for South Dublin County Council to build a public playground in Firhouse.

There is currently no public playground in Firhouse and, while the Scientology Centre in the area has applied for planning permission to build a playground on their grounds, the petition argues that it “should not be left up to private businesses to offer what is essentially a public good”.

Local Social Democrats representative Carly Bailey started the petition, which has almost reached its target number of signatures.

She told Dublin Gazette: “We’ve got five local primary schools in the area.

“It’s really, really badly needed.”

She added that she felt the council did not appreciate the role playgrounds have in the development of children.

“There really is a lack of understanding as to how important play is for kids and being able to use it to learn and all the rest of it,” she said.

While some residents have raised concerns that a playground would attract anti-social elements to the area, Carly said that this should not stop one being built.

“I’ve often made the point that the problem to my mind isn’t actually the playground, it’s the lack of garda presence in the area that’s causing the problems,” she said.

“There’s also been a rise in burglaries for example but we don’t suggest the way to deal with that is we don’t build houses.”

South Dublin County Council said they were not currently aware of the petition.

A spokesperson for the council said: “There is a proposed play space agreed in principle for Dodder Valley Park as part of the recently completed Part 8 for Dodder Valley Mount Carmel in October 2017.

“As outlined within the chief executive’s report for the Part 8 in October, the design of the play space in Dodder Valley will be subject to a number of complex considerations including assessment of need, location requirements and an in-depth examination of the environmental and ecological constraints within the area.

“This work will involve surveys and environmental, it is envisaged that the Part 8 for this playground will commence in Summer 2018.”

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