East Wall Residents enjoy Dublin's newest park
An Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern, TD officially opened Dublin's newest pocket park, the Sean O'Casey Park in East Wall on Monday 12th February 2007.
Located on Church Road, the compact park has been transformed from unsightly waste ground into an appealing and attractive amenity for the East Wall area and its residents.
The regeneration of the park was a collaborative effort between local residents, Dublin City Council, CIE and the Docklands Authority, which provided €120k in funding and co-ordinated the project.
Despite being neglected and in poor condition, residents felt that the site had good potential as a local amenity. The East Wall Community Council approached the Docklands Authority with a view to creating a 'pocket park' for the neighbourhood. The community worked closely with the Docklands Authority, Dublin City Council and CIE to convert the plot into an attractive green space. Works carried out by Dublin City Council involved the removal of 40 tons of material and topsoil, the reinstatement of Black stone wall, construction of new entrance and installation of gates, planting of 10 semi-mature Betula Pendula trees and the planting of 1,500 ground cover Heliz Hibernica plants
Gerry Kelly, Director of Social Regeneration for the Docklands Authority, said the work carried out on the Park reflects the strong community spirit amongst Docklands residents. "Local people were firmly committed to transforming a derelict site into a wonderful asset that can be enjoyed by them, now and into the future. The Docklands Authority is delighted to support such a worthwhile endeavour and congratulates all those involved especially Hugh McKenna and his team at Dublin City Council on a great job well done."
Paul Maloney, Chief Executive of the Docklands Authority, said "Improving quality of life for residents is the cornerstone of the Docklands Authority's social regeneration programme and projects such as this can make a huge difference to the people of the area, young and old, by providing them with access to an important amenity in their own community."
The Park was named after the influential playwright, Sean O'Casey, who lived in the North Wall area between 1897 and 1920. His memory has also been recognised with the Sean O'Casey Community Centre and the Sean O'Casey Memorial Bridge, which links the North and South sides of the city at Custom House Quay.
For further information, please contact:
Gerry Kelly, Director of Social Regeneration, Docklands Authority, Tel 01 818 3300/086 8224380
Loretta Lambkin, Director of Marketing, Docklands Authority, Tel 01 818 3300
Sheila Gahan/ Christine Lydon WHPR, Tel 01 669 0030 / 087 234 2409 (Sheila) 087 283 7407 (Chris)
SOCIAL REGENERATION IN DUBLIN'S DOCKLANDS
The Dublin Docklands Development Authority's focus on social regeneration is what makes it different to other similar waterfront regeneration projects around the world.
For the last eight years as part of its objective to create an inclusive culture in Dublin's docklands area, the Docklands Authority has been working closely with the local Docklands schools and the local communities to establish customised sustainable social regeneration programmes in the area
Investment in education is the foundation of the overall social regeneration programme and many successful educational development projects have been implemented at primary, post primary and third level.
Examples of education initiatives undertaken by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority are as follows:
- In excess of 30 specially designed educational programmes are currently available to the 25 Docklands schools participating in the Dublin Docklands Schools Principals Forum. This forum is the only one of its kind in Ireland.
- The Dublin Docklands Development Authority has won a prestigious Allianz Business2Arts Award for the third year in a row, setting a new record since the awards were first introduced fifteen years ago. The Award was presented for Honk! in the 'Best Collaboration in the Community' category. The Docklands Authority previously won Allianz Business2Arts awards for 'Caught on Camera', a photographic project for young docklanders, in 2005 and the Docklands Schools Music Development Programme in 2004.
- The 'Drama in Schools' programme, which includes the provision of drama classes on an ongoing basis and drama workshops, is now available in 15 Docklands schools. In February 2006, 344 children from the 15 schools involved took to the stage at the Helix, DCU for a unique production of the musical 'Honk!, a contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic story 'The Ugly Duckling'.
- Regular sports academies for soccer, hurling and Gaelic football where children from Dublin's Docklands learn sporting skills from sports stars such as Niall Quinn, Nicky English and Ray Houghton.
- The establishment of the Comer School Development Programme which is potentially the single most significant step in the strategy to overcome disadvantage in inner city communities. This is the first time that this world renowned education strategy is being implemented outside the USA. It involves the collaboration of parents, educators and community to improve social, emotional and academic outcomes for children. As part of the programme 30 primary school students, together with principals, teachers and parents attended a Young Persons Leadership Academy, Principals Academy and Parent Workshops at Yale University in July 2004
- The development of a schools cross cultural exchange programme involving St Laurence O'Toole National Schools and Eu, a town in Normandy where St Laurence O'Toole is buried. The Docklands Authority sponsors French classes in the local schools, and also sponsors a trip to Eu for fifth class students every year where they experience French life and culture. The relationship between the Docklands community and Eu was recently recognised with the naming of 'Dublin Street' in the new Irish quarter of the French town.
- A literacy programme aimed at improving the library facilities and reading provision in Docklands Schools
- A schools IT hub networking Docklands schools
- Special teacher training programmes in dyslexia, behavioural management; and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Management
- By the end of 2005 a total of 160 third level scholarships had been awarded to young people living in the Docklands communities. 78 people have already graduated from their courses
- 142 young Docklanders have attained positions in businesses in the IFSC under the Schools Job Placement programme, and 25 school leavers have been placed in trade apprenticeships in the area.