Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (334)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Ceist:

334. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his attention has been drawn to the condition of the green space in the ownership of the OPW at Casino Park, Donnycarney, Dublin 5; the timeframe for the area to be upgraded; his plans for the space to be made accessible to the local community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26871/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The area to which the Deputy is referring is in the ownership of Dublin City Council (DCC). The Office of Public Works has been in contact with the Parks department of DCC in relation to the presentation of this area.

The main parkland at the demesne immediately surrounding the monument itself is in the care of the OPW and is maintained and managed in line with OPW landscape practice across all National Historic Property sites.

The parkland is managed for biodiversity and in recent years OPW has implemented a reduced mowing regime to support the natural biodiversity of the site. In line with these practices, the parkland will receive a final mow and final landscape works for the year will be completed in October of this year. This parkland area continues to be fully accessible to the public for access to walk and enjoy seven days a week from 7am to 6.45pm. This parkland has been much used during the COVID19 restrictions and is frequented on a daily basis by the local community.

Separately, the OPW is in ongoing discussions with DCC to agree a possible transfer of lands surrounding the Casino, including the area identified by the Deputy, from DCC to OPW, in order to facilitate the development of a new visitor facilities on site and to reinstate a heritage landscape at Casino Marino.  As part of a strategic partnership between OPW, Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, for capital investment in visitor infrastructure at heritage sites, funding has been approved for a project to improve facilities through provision of a new visitor welcome facility (including café and interpretive space) additional visitor car parking and improvements to the landscape. 

This project has significant potential to impact on the tourism attractiveness of Marino and this part of the City. The reinstatement of the heritage landscape and provision of new visitor facilities will improve accessibility to this unique and important monument. The project will also address the issues the deputy has identified by improving the wider landscape and public realm surrounding the Casino resulting in improved facilities for the local community to access and enjoy.