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  • Northside East

Meeting urged to resolve dispute

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019 8:00am
Meeting urged to resolve dispute

Some of the protestors outside Fingal County Hall in Swords.

Meeting urged to resolve dispute

Some of the protestors outside Fingal County Hall in Swords.

A NORTHSIDE councillor is urging Fingal County Council to convene a meeting with park users to find a solution to a major dispute over the new Parks and Open Spaces Bye-laws.  

Fingal Dog Owners’ Group (DOG) is vehemently opposed to the council’s introduction of park bye-laws which require dogs to be on leashes in public parks at certain times except in designated zones.

The group, formed last October, argues that these zones are too restrictive, and is seeking a reversal of the bye-law. 

Cllr Joe Newman (Ind), who represents the Swords Local Electoral Area (LEA), said he was very taken by the turnout and the passion of the group at a meeting held at the Carnegie Court, Swords, last Monday, February 25.

“The group wants changes to the bye-laws that they say are restrictive to their dogs and also affects them negatively,” he said.

Cllr Newman said he also previously received equally strong, passionate and worthy representation from people who support the requirement to have dogs on leash in public parks. 

“I am calling on Paul Reid, chief executive of Fingal County Council, to convene a meeting with council officials and the different park user groups, including dog wardens and park wardens,” he said. 

“The meeting will be to hear the views of all the groups who use our parks to find common ground with a view to finding a solution that suits all park users.

“It must be remembered that local councillors are public representatives who are elected to represent all sections of the community.

“It is, therefore, important that they are fully informed of all of the issues that concern their constituents. 

“It is not the job of a councillor to side with any particular group but to work to find a solution for all concerned.”

Cllr Newman said he has spent a lot of time trying to understand and appreciate all the issues of concern to residents around the new bye-laws.

He added that he is willing to chair the group meeting he has called on the chief executive to convene.

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council told Northside People: “The council has met with representatives of the group and is happy to facilitate further meetings if desired.”

John O’Callaghan, a committee member of Fingal Dog Owners’ Group, said: “We held a public meeting at the Carnegie Hotel and invited all 40 councillors.

“The purpose of the meeting was to deliver the factual information to the councillors, in relation to the dog off-leash bye-law.

“Our aim was, that by familiarising themselves with this updated detail, the councillors would now be in a position to support the motion to review the bye-law.

“Fingal DOG also invited a dog behaviourist to the meeting as a guest speaker to deliver the scientific knowledge on the detriment of dog restricted areas.

“The meeting was a roaring success with over 300 people in attendance and also included TV coverage.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here