DUBLIN’S Peace Park has reopened after years of closure due to anti-social behaviour. The park, located in Nicholas Street, across from Christchurch Cathedral, was designed as a sunken garden to reduce traffic noise at a busy junction.
Dublin City Council said it has found that sprucing up old parks, like recent upgrades to the nearby St. Audeon’s park, “usually displace the anti-social behaviour”.
Independent Councillor Mannix Flynn said that for several years the old Peace Park suffered from anti-social behaviour in the form of public drinking and drug use.
The council told theJournal.ie that “following on from the opening of the Peace Park we will also have a part-time warden in situ to monitor any such behaviour.”
The old park featured a bronze ‘Tree of Life’ statue, a fountain, and features biblical and quotes from Irish poets WB Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh.
Plans for a redesign and relaunch of the park were announced in 2016, but there were objections to some of the proposals.
bring people together in reflection about war and peace
One plan was to remove railings around the park to create an open public space. However this generated concern among local residents and ultimately did not go ahead.
Last year, the Government of Flanders in Belgium offered to partner with Dublin City on a memorial to the 50,000 Irishmen who died in the Flanders fields during World War One.
The aim of this memorial is “to bring people together in reflection about war and peace, about sacrifice and suffering, about tolerance and hope, about forgiveness and reconciliation”.
Although some councillors objected to the idea of a war memorial in a peace park, the Flanders memorial has been installed as part of the revamped park at Christchurch.
Cllr Flynn has said that having a part-time warden at the Peace Park is a welcome step by the council and that the public are “not going to accept” anti-social behaviour at the park.
There “should be zero tolerance to people who’d interfere with our parks and have them closed down.”
Work began on the park back in February. The central sunken area of the part was raised, and some of the dense tree and shrub planting removed to let more light into the garden. A number of the elements from Dublin City Council’s 2017 Silver Gilt ‘Bloom’ garden are being used in the Peace Garden.