Waste land beside Labre Park proposed for a ‘horse project’

By Maurice Garvey

WASTE land beside Labre Park should be allocated for a Traveller horse project, according to People Before Profit councillor Hazel de Nortuín.

Cllr de Nortuín put forward a motion at the recent South Central area meeting, calling for the committee to support the scheduled redevelopment of Labre Park, by allocating land between the canal and Labre Park for a horse project.

Labre Park Canal 02032017

“This will facilitate the horses currently in Labre Park and critical to Traveller culture and ethnicity, to be accommodated during and post redevelopment,” said Cllr de Nortuín.

“This piece of land in question has been left idle with no developmental potential. This will be the best solution for everyone. Any horse project on site, will be visible from the roadside and I look forward to working with the residents of Labre Park to see this project through.”

She continued: “PBP have worked alongside BTAP in fighting for the redevelopment of Labre Park for some years now and welcome the construction works due to start in 2018.”

Independent councillor Vincent Jackson said he had no problem supporting the sentiment of the motion but expressed reservation at the “level of difficulties” experienced by residents along the stretch of the canal.

Cllr Jackson said: “I think there is an opportunity, with the development of Labre Park, to ensure the canal is a vibrant source for everybody, particularly a lot of people who use the new cycleway.

"It is a very difficult stretch. Boat owners don’t like going through there, and for recreational purposes, we have an outward bound centre. We don’t use this stretch of the canal, so you read through the lines what I’m saying.

“A project like this right up to the banks of the canal, will have a detrimental effect on what we’re trying to do there. There has been a lot of public money spent on rehabilitating the canal in the last 15 years to bring it into productive use for lots of people.”

Cllr Jackson urged the proposals if they go ahead, to protect wildlife, and a boundary to ensure the canal is separate to any proposed horse project.

Cllr de Nortuín agreed that a strip of land on both sides of the canal should be excluded from any development.

Dublin City Council South Central Area Manager Bruce Philips said it isn’t within his remit to allocate land, but acknowledged the site requires “substantial investment”.

“There are high voltage pylons running across it, it’s prone to flooding, in poor condition, and there is poor access – all that will have to be taken into account before anything happens in the future,” said Mr Philips.

Mr Philips revealed a commercial enterprise had submitted an expression of interest in acquiring a part of the land, but no further details were available at this time.

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