Beasts of the Memorial Gardens

AuthorMessage DateMessage
Sean25/11/2013The memorial gardens is a great spot for a walk but one thing I've noticed since becoming a father is the dogs.

There are dogs of all shapes and sizes, labradors, greyhounds, jack russels, pitbulls, sheepdogs, etc., scampering around the gardens, joyfully unfettered by the confines of a leash, playfully sniffing, barking and wrestling with each other. Indeed, it appears as if the memorial gardens has become a mecca for South County Dublin dog owners, a paradise where dogs owners are no longer required to keep their dogs on a leash and can release their canine companions to enjoy the acres of green grass and open areas. In fact, according to the Kilmainham gardai, there is an unwritten rule concerning dog, leashes and the memorial gardens.

I owned a dog and love dogs but the tipping point for me came when a greyhound off a leash doubled back after passing and came within inches of my 10 month old daughter. I spoke with the owner about a leash but wasn't even dignified with a response. On calling the gardai in Kilmainham, they informed me that there was an unwritten rule concerning the memorial gardens but conceded that greyhounds could be dangerous and unpredictable.

Many of my neighbours and their children are afraid to walk in the gardens due to the presence of the dogs. The dog owners seem to converge on the memorial gardens to release their four legged friends on the residents of Inchicore.

I am afraid that some day a dog will react, snap and maul a small child. Is there anyone else who would be interested in reclaiming the memorial gardens for humans beings?
neil26/11/2013You say according to the Kilmainham gardai, there is an unwritten rule concerning dog, leashes and the memorial gardens, twice you said it, any chance you might let the rest of us know what it is...
Judi26/11/2013This park is owned and maintaned by the OPW, and they put up information signs revcently. There are however no signs to tell dog owners to keep their dogs on leads.

I think what the Guard meant was that the park wardens and OPW dont care if u have a dog off a lead and will turn a blind eye. They haven't even bothered with any signs!
SHEA26/11/2013Sean I agree with your point.The OPW don`t enforce this bylaw in Memorial Gargens or the grounds of the Royal Hospital but for some reason are quite strict in enforcing this law in Farmleigh.
Neil other than being smart I don`t get your point
Sean26/11/2013Twice it was said but soon to be thrice!

Anyway, the laws in Dublin for public parks under the council are as follows:

3. A person in charge of a dog in an area specified in the First Schedule to these
Bye-Laws [ except (a) American Pitbull Terrier, (b) Bull Mastiff ,
(c) Doberman Pinscher, (d) English Bull Terrier, (e) German Shepherd
(Alsatian), (f) Japenese Akita, (g) Japenese Tosa, (h) Rhodesian Ridgeback,
(i) Rottweiler, (J) Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and to every dog of the type
commonly known as a Ban Dog (or Bandog) and to every other strain or cross
of every breed of every type of dog described above] shall keep the dog on a
sufficiently strong chain or leash, not exceeding two metres in length if a fixed
leash, or ten metres if retractable, while in that area, except during the
following times when the dog may be unleashed in such areas (but excluding
the North Bull Island and any other such area for which a Special Amenity
Area Order is made) provided that such dog must still be under the effectual
control of the person-in-charge of the dog in accordance with the Control of Dogs Acts, 1986 and 1992:

January & December: 8.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.
4.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.

February & November: 8.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.
4.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

March & October: 8.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.
5.30 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. (Wintertime)
6.30 p.m. - 7.30 p.m. (Summertime)

April & September: 8.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.
7.30 p.m. - 8.30 p.m.

May & June: 8.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.
July & August: 8.30 p.m. - 9.30 p.m.

I was talking to the Gard about the potential dangers of dogs on the loose and he said there was an "unwritten rule" with regard to the memorial gardens. My take on this, was that he was implying the normal dog control rules were not enforced in memorial gardens. In fairness when I told him what happened he offered to send down a gard to talk to the owners but they were long gone.

There's not much in Inchicore really for kids, (playground and memorial gardens), and as it stands, I think and so do others, that the memorial gardens is too dangerous.

I would love to bring my daughter there but it is just too risky.

Even, if there were a fenced off dog-free area for humans to enjoy, I would be happy with that as it would be somewhere to bring her for a walk without fear of her being mauled or traumatised.
Judi27/11/2013Sean this park is NOT under council ownership. It is in the ownership and managmenet of the OPW no matter how many times you say it the council bylaws do not apply there.
Sam29/11/2013I am afraid of dogs and one dog came with inches of my 6 month old child in the park. I phoned Kilmainham and spent 45 minutes trying to explain that I was in fear of being mauled or traumatised. Kilmainham were very understanding and told me that all dogs have the potential cause harm, I was shocked. I have now started to worry about all the cats in the estate. Now I just cannot face going to the park any more.
Tim29/11/2013I wouldn't worry too much about the cats but the seagulls are getting crazy in the area. I was going to call the guards abou t it but I doubt they could do anything about them. They are crazy though swooping down to attack.
Peter McDonagh29/11/2013I agree with Tim about the seagulls. I'm terrified about them and I can't enjoy a stroll in the memorial park without living in fear. I believe that the OPW, Dublin City Council, the Gardai and the people feeding them bread have a responsibility for the behavior of the seagulls. More importantly though, I'm petrified of the swans in the park. I'm afraid that they will run up to me and peck me with their sharp beaks. I am thinking of writing a strongly worded letter to all the above public authorities asking for something to be done about it. I pay taxes and deserve to be protected by the government. I would like the authorities to put muzzles on the swans' beaks during park opening hours.
Neil01/12/2013And the magpies, don't even start me going on about the magpies, I'm afraid to let my cats out the back garden in case they are attacked by them...
SHEA02/12/2013Oh very funny Lads! Why don`t you try the comedy slot in the Patriots.I`m sure there`s a market for slagging parents concerns about their childerns safety around dogs in public parks!Did you hear the one about the Rothweiller and the new born baby......... There is a clearly worded sign on the railings outside the gates of the park at Con Colbert Road saying all dogs must be on a lead.In addition the new signs inside the park have a (very small) symbol denoting all dogs on leads.But Judi is right the bye-laws do not apply to this park.So they are probably not enforcable.
Peter McDonagh02/12/2013You are right. Swans are very dangerous creatures. Having spent time in England, I know that over there all mute swans in the UK are owned by the Queen. I copy below a link to an article in the Daily Express where a 6 year old girl have a very luck escape after being pecked by a Swan. The fortunate young lass received a letter of apology from Her Majesty. Quite right Shea, it's no laughing matter. It's only a matter of time.

As Memorial Park is owned by the Office of Public Works doesn't that mean that the OPW owns the Swans.

Apropos to an earlier message, could the OPW or Dublin City Council, or whoever, erect a chicken wire fence on the banks of the Liffey in Memorial Park to prevent any of the Swans from attacking people. I will definitely write to the Taoiseach about this.
M04/12/2013Not sure how much of this thread is a joke.
Swans only attack if you go too near their nests, which are pretty big and obvious on the river bank. They may try and chase you away - just move away. Don't hassle them and they will leave you alone.
Only dogs which have been mistreated, trained or bred to fight will might attack They may run boisterously about and knock a child down, but there is no need to live in fear.
raymond06/12/2013I walk in the Memorial Park every day, I have no problems with dogs or swans. I don't agree with chicken wire in the the park.
Oisin Ó hAlmhain13/12/2013I dropped a little e-mail to the OPW and got this sensible reply:

Thank you for your recent e mail pertaining to the War Memorial Gardens.

No, there are no Bye-Laws in place for these Gardens. As you correctly
stated, we have Bye Laws for the Phoenix Park.

Dog owners are encouraged to keep their dogs on leads. We endeavour to
ask people to respect these sacred Gardens.
Our Park Rangers drive through regularly to watch for any unsocial
Oisin Ó hAlmhain13/12/2013As a dog lover, and father of toddlers, one of which has been knocked over by a frisky dog in Memorial park, I think mutual respect is the way forward! (She carries a dog teddy everywhere with her)

Look after your animals and babies, keep an eye on them and be sensible! Definitely a big no to chicken wire!
Sean10/03/2014I have to admit I meant to get in touch with the OPW but never got around to it. I've largely avoided the memorial gardens since, (we've been there twice).

I'm shocked, angered and saddened by the line taken by Sam, Tim, Peter McDonagh and Neil. Unfortunately, this thuggish behaviour and irresponsible behaviour is not completely uncommon amongst the dog community in Inchicore.

In my last post I suggested, "a fenced off dog-free area for humans to enjoy", so the children and humans would be safely fenced in rather than the dogs. I think this was extremely reasonable.
It seems that some consider dogs more important than humans, in my opinion, this is an unwelcome development.

Each day, about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care treatment for dog bite injury

The latest UK data shows that 6,447 people were admitted to hospital for dog bites in 2011-12 - a 5.2% rise on the previous 12 months.
Dogs represent 71% of all mammalian bites in this period, (note that seagulls, cats and swans combined account for less bites than dogs.
The worst age to get seriously bitten by a dog is under nine years of age.

An Off Leash Dog Ruined My Life: A Service Dog’s Story

We heard dogs barking and the next thing one shot out of a laneway. The three of us just stopped in our tracks and then the dog lunged at Abbie

At this stage we don’t know what scarring she will be left with or emotional side effects.

Dog-biting attacks as likely inside as outside the home, says new research

So, in summary children under 10 are most likely to be bitten by dogs and are more likely to get bitten in the face, requiring plastic surgery to reconstruct them. The reason there are so many horror stories is because there are so many dog attacks.
Indeed, off-leash dogs also cause issues for other dog owners.

To me it is akin to walking around with a loaded gun. You may have no intention of firing it but nevertheless it is intimidating. How is a person to distinguish between a dog in good humour and one that may 'trigger' and start attacking?

Perhaps the real beasts in the memorial gardens are the like of Sam, Tim, Peter McDonagh and Neil?
neil11/03/2014If you read my post correctly you will have seen that I have cats, not dogs...
Sam27/03/2014Still very nervous
Oisin28/03/2014The city council have a scheme so that dog walkers leave only paw prints! See

Anybody want to get involved in a green dogs scheme? Happy to help, and you can contact me through my website