Local Councillor Tina McVeigh who has been heavily involved in this campaign said, ‘This is an incredible victory for people power because for the past few years there has been an active group of local people devoted to the sole aim of securing green space for a part of Dublin 8. ‘
The campaign faced resistance from unelected council officials who seemed determined at one point to turn the site over to greedy developers waiting to put high price apartments on the site. This would have assured the end of any green space recreation area in what is described as the most densely populated area of Dublin.
The story behind all this is one of national and local politics nearly failing a community. Members of the Bridgefoot Campaign were deeply frustrated with the lack of interest that Council Officials had in developing any green space in Dublin 8.
The area has several sites that could be used for recreation and green space. However because they too are under threat from the council and the Bridgefoot Campaign stands in solidarity with those other community leaders who have supported us in our campaign.
At one point the campaign was informed by unelected council officials that we were putting valuable social housing needs under threat by our campaign. This was possibly the most cynical attack on the campaign. However it was pointed out to the council by Councillor Tina McVeigh PBP that there were plenty of other semi-derelict sites in the immediate area that could be used to build social housing.
The Bridgefoot Street campaign protesters has been bewildered by the apparent lack of imagination that Dublin City Council seemed to have on this. It didn’t even refer to its own Greening Strategy published in 2015 which refers to the lack of green space in Dublin 8 and the vital need for recreational and green space for the community.
Undaunted they felt as if they were actually doing the council’s work for them and pointed out that while the Campaigners are delighted with the result, their work is far from over.
Community consultation is the next stage of the process and the Bridgefoot Street Campaign will be involved. So far there has not been any proper consultation process since the initial consultation workshops were cancelled at short notice by Dublin City Council.
This is an important victory but the fight is not quite over. Anyone who wants to get involved in the campaign should call in to the Mendicity Institute at 7pm any Tuesday night .