Stardust memorial needs urgent repair

by Gazette Reporter

Urgent work is needed to enhance the surroundings of a park built in memory of the victims of the Stardust tragedy which happened almost 34 years ago this Valentine’s Day as the park has fallen into a state of disrepair.
That’s according to Independent TD Terence Flanagan, who is highlighting the need for maintenance work to be carried out on Stardust Memorial Park.
The park, located in Coolock, was opened in 1993 and built to commemorate the 48 people who lost their lives in the Stardust Nightclub fire on Valentine’s Night 1981.
The sod was turned on the park on the 10-year anniversary of the tragedy in 1991 by then Taoiseach Charles Haughey and his son, then deputy lord mayor, Sean Haughey.
The park cost in excess of £500,000 and included a playground, all-weather pitch, football pitch and a garden terrace with seating. A sculpture depicting two young people dancing and a fountain is enclosed by 48 pillars, each symbolising a person lost in the tragedy.
“We are fast approaching the 34th anniversary of the Stardust tragedy and I am very concerned that the Stardust Memorial Park is in a state of disrepair,” Deputy Flanagan said.
“I was in the park at the weekend and noticed a number of problems that Dublin City Council needs to address as a matter of urgency.”
There is currently paint peeling off the barriers at the entrance to the park and the playground is in need of resurfacing. Other issues include graffiti on lamp posts and playground equipment, as well as litter on the park’s walkways.
The Independent TD said he has made representation to the council suggesting that the council look at employing people on CE schemes or those carrying out community service to assist with the maintenance of the park.
“It is extremely important that work is carried out in Stardust Memorial Park to ensure it serves as a proper memorial for the victims.
“The jobs that need to be completed are very small, but once completed they will make a huge amount of difference to the community,” he said.
According to a Dublin City Council spokesperson, the park is maintained on an “ongoing basis” by the parks and landscape service to the “same standard” as all other open space in the area. While “regular cleaning operations” are carried out.
“The parks and landscape services is aware of the upcoming anniversary and it is carrying out preparations of the park and particularly in the vicinity of the memorial as is carried out every year at this time.
“The playground is regularly inspected and the grassed areas are all in satisfactory condition at present. There is occasionally litter present mainly due to the proximity of retail outlets and a school, and occasionally there is evidence of illegal dumping.
“This is addressed by Dublin City Council services in the area as it occurs. Graffiti is also addressed in accordance with the standard criteria.
“The graffiti present on bins and at the playground will be addressed shortly and the painting of entrance barriers is scheduled for spring 2015,” the council said.

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