With the government encouraging people to have an ‘outdoor summer’ this year, Tallaght TD Paul Murphy says he is calling for increased investment in South Dublin County Council parks to make them more attractive and usable.
The People Before Profit TD has launched a campaign for increased investment to provide more bins and toilets and to double the number of benches and picnic tables.
A petition on the TDs website also calls for doubling the number of park-rangers in SDCC from 14 to 28, installing outdoor gym equipment, water fountains and improved lighting.
According to Deputy Murphy, people want to make more use of the parks but the lack of facilities is limiting them.
“Too often in our beautiful public parks the bins are overflowing, there are no spaces left to sit with your friends or family and far too few public toilets available,” he said.
“People want to be able to go to the park for the afternoon and be able to relax, maybe have a picnic at a picnic table and be able to easily get to a public toilet.
“If we are to really have an outdoor summer, that’s the kind of investment we need.”
Last year, central government did allocate an extra €80,000 to South Dublin County Council for public parks, but that is “a really tiny amount” according to the campaign video.
Deputy Murphy says ‘far more’ investment is needed.
“Covid has highlighted just how important our outdoor spaces are. We now need to provide the money to realise their full potential,” he said.
“There have been years of under-investment in our public parks, a once-off payment of €80,000 is not going to solve that.
“We need to providing not just more bins and toilets, but also the staff to manage them and maintain the parks.
“There are also many parts of the council area without any proper public park, and the council needs a strategy to address that.”