Dublin [Rose] Festival ?


Fresh from the rose festival here are my thoughts….

This is what I got from the Dublin Event Guide

The Dublin City Rose Festival will be held on the 17+18 July from 10:30-18:00 in St.Anne’s Park, Raheny, Dublin 5. Apart from the horticultural aspect of the festival (the Rose Trials on Friday from 10:00-14:00), a variety of entertainment will also be provided on both days including guided walks of the rose garden, live music, food stalls, a farmer’s market, a picnic area, and children’s entertainment with face painting, Viking re-enactments, t-shirt workshops and lots more. Despite many years of this festival and probably because the organiser is Dublin City, there is still no proper website for the festival, so timetables for the live entertainment etc are top secret, it seems. Year after year, for the third year now I get frustrated with Dublin City. The events are really great and there is a lot of variety, but getting the word out and providing detail is a disaster.

View more images of the dublin rose festival – not great but it’s all I’ve got.

Please note, the grounds staff at St Annes Park do a really great job and I shall review this park later. These are just my thoughts on the event that is The Dublin Rose Festival.


Some Green Bits And Bobs

First up the human powered cycling lawnmower


The rise of the backyard office by Michael Elliot. I like number 5. The log cabin [?] Thanks to Bernie Goldbach for this.

The fake BP T-shirt – bringing oil to american shores

GE puts 250,000 cows to work in a chinese biogas plant

via Gary over @ prosperity…. I love the Irish biodegradable iPhone Cover, he also let me know about the most amazing [rock] house ever

speaking of houses…. Amy told me about this Zero Carbon Underground Eco House

Dun Laoghaire Harbour web cam – get Mary to  phone you and you’ll be able to see her waving at you. Prefer the harbour mouth camera myself.

Also in Dublin, Dublin City Council now allows you to report things like abondoned vehicles and grafitti

Parc André Citroen ? the old citroen factory became a park…. wish a lot of bad looking buildings in Ireland became just that. Interesting.

Who is the greenest of them all…

And finally, the polestar in Letterkenny …? I’d never heard of it. Been there a while according to Damien Blake. I like this photograph of it.


Archbishop Ryan versus Oscar Wilde – Park


I had reviewed Archbishop Ryan Park in November 2008, also known in some circles as Merrion Square Park.

Dublin City Council debated a motion in January 2009 that Archbishop Ryan park be renamed. They are asking the public [via email and in less than 300 words] if you agree that the park should be renamed and also for suggestions of a more appropriate name. The closing date for submissions is April 23rd

Not that I am ignorant of the subject, but more that are others  better versed than I and the specifics of this matter…. I asked Journalist Susan Daly to write this post for me.


Susan is a respected freelance features writer, published in several magazines and newspapers, most notably with The Irish Independent and The Evening Herald. She is also a journalist who’s work I respect.

Regarding this weblog, this is a place for gardening and green. It is also sometimes a voice where change can at least be considered. In this context, whilst the [re]naming of an outdoor space maybe the title of the post there is also a very delicate matter underlying.

Before some forget, it was only little over 10 years ago we almost had a Michelle Smith park in South Dublin….

My opinion, parks are a place for relaxation and all things that should define happiness for the time you are there. Personally, I believe a park is not entitled to cause upset in any way. Via it’s name or other. In that same breath change is sometimes good and the people have a voice.

Susan blogs at the daly planet blog and is on twitter as @biddyearly. She is also I should add, one of lifes nice people to talk to.

Thank you so much Susan for writing this:

Archbishop Ryan Park To Be Renamed ?


Dublin city is blessed with a patchwork of gorgeous green spaces. Some are well-trodden thoroughfares like Phoenix Park and St Stephen’s Green. Others are less high-profile. The Iveagh Gardens are accessed by a non-descript gate in a wall off Harcourt Street, and I’m fairly sure only office workers looking for a spot to snooze during a sunny lunch break around the Wexford Street area are aware of St

Kevin’s Park, complete with ruined church, on Camden Row. Wander a few hundred metres straight up from Parnell Square at the top of O’Connell Street and you’ll happen on the Blessington Street Basin, a sanctuary for waterfowl and sometime residence of a cranky male stork who likes to lord it up on the centre island of the canal basin there.

The park in the centre of the very grand Merrion Square falls somewhere between the two. Everyone knows it’s there – the National Gallery, the Dead Zoo… sorry, Natural History Museum (soon to reopen)…, and Leinster House skirt the western edge of the park but it’s relatively peaceful compared to, say, Stephen’s Green. It is really stunning though – there is a really well-maintained children’s playground, it has some fabulous sculptures scattered about its shady trails and no-one seems to mind too much if you loll around on the open grassy knolls for the afternoon. It’s pretty idyllic.

More difficult to idealise is the ongoing dedication of the park to Archbishop Dermot Ryan, who oversaw the transfer of the park to Dublin Corporation for public use. The Catholic Church had originally bought the garden from the Pembroke Estate in 1930 and had planned to erect a cathedral on the land. That edifice to the Church’s riches never materialised but a plaque which gives the official name of the park – Archbishop Ryan Park – still stands defiantly at the eastern entrance to the green.

I say defiantly because Archbishop Ryan was one of the senior clerics criticised in the Murphy Report for his action (or inaction, as it may be) in managing known, serial, child sexual abusers in the Dublin Diocese.

Dublin City Council debated a motion last January that the park be renamed, and are asking the public to email their thoughts to in 300 words or less. They want to know, firstly, if you agree that Archbishop Ryan Park should be renamed, and secondly, if you have any suggestions for what you think would be a more appropriate name.

One of the most common reactions of right-minded folks to the revelations of the Murphy and Ryan reports, and all child abuse cases, is ‘How could that happen?’ It happened because a culture of passivity, silence and conspiracy was allowed to breed. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, all that evil needed to flourish was for good people to say nothing. We can do so little to make reparations to the victims – but we can at least not have them walk past a plaque that celebrates one of the many people who failed them so badly.

This was the letter I sent to You’ll probably have your own thoughts on what the park should be renamed, and that is as it should be. We are citizens and we have a voice and we should bloody well use it.

“To whom it may concern,
I live on XXXXXXX, one of the graceful Georgian-terraced streets that feed into Merrion Square. As such, I spend much of my time in the green

area in the centre of that square. There should be no debate about whether this elegant garden should retain the name ‘Archbishop Ryan Park’. It, of course, should not.
Considering the aforementioned Archbishop’s highly criticised action (or inaction, as they case may be) in the horrendous handling by the Irish Catholic Church of child abuse complaints, it is quite simply insult to mortal injury to all victims and right-thinking citizens for his name to be attached to anything associated with pleasure, peace or beauty.
I would like to second the huge call for the park to be renamed ‘Oscar Wilde Gardens’ because in my experience of living in the area, I am frequently stopped by tourists looking for only one of two things, or both: directions to Oscar Wilde’s birthplace (also on Merrion Square) or to the Oscar Wilde statue by Danny Osborne.
His legacy as a writer – one of that army of Irish greats who have brought us international acclaim – and as an ambassador of our country has stood the test of time, and will into the future.
I hope that you will allow me to proudly direct all tourists to Oscar Wilde Gardens!
Kind regards,
Susan Daly

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Dublin Bike Scheme


I live in a small farming town called called Ballyboughal. There’s no bus service here and very little else 😉

Last week I had a meeting in Dublin City Centre. So I got a lift into Dublin City.

What happens when at about 5pm, peak traffic one hits near Sherriff Street and tries to get to Merrion Square is very little by way of movement. In fact one could nearly pull the hand brake and set up the picnic table. However if I back tracked about 2 miles I could get on a bike, for free, cycle to Merrion Square, park the bike and that’s that.

The cost for this Dublin Bike Scheme is a registration fee of €10 per annum. And assuming none of my journeys are over 30 minutes then that’s all it will cost me for the year. Realistically, unless I’m going on a back packing journey around Dublin… I can’t see any ride lasting longer than that.


When I went to St Patricks Park last week [I had a meeting near there just before] my next meet was on Baggot Street…. I walked it. Not a problem, but the cycle would have made things, well, more efficient time wise I suppose.

There used to be a handy iphone app for all of the locations… which made it really easy to figure where was best [for you] to drop your bike back – but JC Decaux who did a deal with Dublin City Council in exchange for advertising space put a stop to that.

Anyhow, it is a great idea. It does work. And for ten bob…. one can’t really complain. Go to the Dublin Bike Scheme website, have your credit card handy and give it a whirl. It takes about 2 weeks to get your card through the post.


Anthony tells me there is an iphone app from JCDecaux called ABikeNow – but – it’s really poor being very honest and terribly hard to navigate. My advice…. print out a locations map and put it in your handbag 🙂

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coultry park, dublin



I wouldn’t guess too many know about this park. In fact I’d say very few. I never knew about it up until recently. But I’m glad I did take the time to visit it.

Located in between the new and old Ballymun…. the stark contrast is to be admired. In fact it is to be applauded. Because what I saw was the fact that for the first time in my life a park was built before a building development was finished. The park still has a bit, on the peripherals to go, but its really good. I like it!

What was much more admirable was the little plaques at the base of so many trees. They acknowledged a group or an organisation who donated money and paid for that tree to go into the park.

This is important. Because now a new park is about the people. It tells a story. It has a reason and a meaning, personal to those who will frequent it.

Ballymun regeneration, the people who live there and Dublin City Council for so many reasons will have got this park spot on when it’s fully complete in so many ways.

I’m gonna give this park 3/5 – only because it’s got a bit of finshing to go. That said I would strongly recommend you go here. Visit it. Take your time. Sit on a grass mound and let life pass you by.

What I found most unusual about this place when I went there…. There was about 12 teenagers sitting around talking and 3 kids with their parents in the playground. Not an inch of litter to be seen. Some people associate parks with an older age group… Nice to see re-generation getting a double meaning. 😉

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