August 31st, 2017
Historic trees in Fairview Park due to be cut down by Dublin City Council have been saved following pressure from the local community.
The Council planned to fell 64 trees along a roadside in Fairview Park in order to construct the new Clontarf to City Centre cycle route.
However, locals objected to the plans, launching the Save Fairview Trees campaign earlier this month to protect the trees which were planted in 1908.
They argued that there was already a cycleway passing through Fairview Park, which could be “upgraded” instead of felling the trees.
An online petition launched by the campaigners reached 12,995 signatures, with the group asking locals to contact their representatives in the Council.
The Council has now proposed a modified cycle route that will allow most of the trees to remain in place. Only 10 of the initial 64 will be cut down.
Speaking to The Irish Times about the victory, campaign member Edel Leahy said: “It shows that people power can work when a serious wrong is being proposed.”
The group also received support from local businesses, cyclist lobby groups, and several local politicians.
Local councillor Niall Ring, who supported the campaign, stated: “Officials have now to go back to the drawing board and present a plan that will be accepted by all interest groups.”
“The safety of cyclists, the retention of the facilities in Fairview Park for the local community and ensuring that whatever plan is agreed will not impact on local businesses must be the criteria for any new proposal,” he said.
The Green Party has also welcomed the decision. The party’s representative in Clontarf, Donna Cooney, called the Council’s amendment “a real win for the Save Fairview Trees campaign”.
Ms Cooney added that the petition sent “a clear message” that “people wanted to save their trees”, adding that cycling and pedestrian safety must now be addressed to achieve the best possible design.
“Today is for celebration – we have both saved 42 mature Fairview Trees and ensured that the development of important cycling infrastructure can go ahead”, she concluded.