Coun­cil says it had to act for ‘all park users’

Fingal Independent - - NEWS - By JOHN MAN­NING

FIN­GAL County Coun­cil has is­sued a re­sponse to the protest held by the Fin­gal Dog Own­ers Group say­ing that con­tro­ver­sial park-bye laws that are see­ing new off-leash ar­eas fenced off in our larger pub­lic parks aim to ‘re­flect the needs of all of Fin­gal’s park users’.

Se­nior of­fi­cials from Fin­gal County Coun­cil say they met with the Dog Own­ers Group in De­cem­ber to dis­cuss their con­cerns and to brief them on the rel­e­vant bye-laws and in par­tic­u­lar the coun­cil’s plans for ex­ten­sive pro­vi­sion of ded­i­cated dog-off leash ar­eas and fa­cil­i­ties in Fin­gal. Ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil, a fur­ther meet­ing with the group is planned for later in Jan­uary. This will be an on-site meet­ing at­tended by coun­cil of­fi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the group.

The pur­pose of this meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal au­thor­ity, is to en­sure that the coun­cil’s plans ‘take due ac­count of the spe­cific needs of dog own­ers and their pets in the con­text of the pro­vi­sion of the new fa­cil­i­ties for dogs’.

Ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil state­ment: ‘The new Parks and Open Spa­ces Bye-laws have been cre­ated to re­flect the needs of all of Fin­gal’s Park users. They aim to make parks and open spa­ces safer, cleaner and more en­joy­able for ev­ery­one. An ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion process, in­clud­ing seven road show events at parks across the re­gion, was com­pleted prior to the bye-laws be­ing adopted by coun­cil­lors in 2017.’

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: ‘Dog own­ers re­main free to walk their dogs through­out the parks in Fin­gal pro­vided they keep their dog on the leash other than in des­ig­nated off-leash ar­eas or at des­ig­nated off-leash times. The amended bye-laws pro­vide for ex­ten­sive des­ig­nated off-leash ar­eas in larger pub­lic parks pro­vided dogs are still un­der ad­e­quate con­trol. In smaller en­closed parks dogs may be off leash up un­til 11am in the morn­ing and for the last hour be­fore the park closes in the evening. In all res­i­den­tial open spa­ces, dogs may be of­fleash at all times pro­vided again that they are un­der ad­e­quate con­trol.’

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