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Dublin: 22 °C Saturday 18 August, 2018
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Local families locked out of community garden by parish

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has been called to intervene.

Image: Balgaddy Community Garden via Facebook

A COMMUNITY GARDEN in Dublin has been closed by a local Catholic church after a long running dispute.

Families say they were shocked to find padlocks on the gates when they went to tend to the garden.

The garden in the Balgaddy area of Clondalkin has been used by locals over the past number of years and was previously a wasteland.

Local families had been using the plot it to grow plants, flowers and fruits, it also has a kids corner for children to play in.

Lucan South Parish says the use of the land for the community garden was a temporary measure, adding that “dialogue between parish representatives and community garden representatives has been ongoing for over two years”.

However on 25 June, this sign was erected in the garden:

lucan Source: Balgaddy Community Garden via Facebook

A padlock was then placed on the gates to stop the community from entering.

It’s understood that the padlock and signs were removed for a time but have now been replaced, leaving the community locked out once again.

In a statement released to TheJournal.ie the Parish Pastoral Council of Lucan South stated:

Lucan South Parish needs access to this portion of land to properly plan for and support a wide variety of parish and community groups, who regularly use parish facilities.

However, Sinn Féin councillor Eoin O Broin has questioned the legality of the action, stating the lands are in fact owned by Dublin City Council.

“The land in question was subject to a Section 183 disposal by South Dublin County Council in 1997. When the elected members took that decision to transfer the land to the Laurence O’Toole Trust and the South Lucan Parish there were a number of conditions attached included the payment of £18,850.

To date this money has not been paid and as a result the title deeds have not been transferred. This means that title for the lands is still held by South Dublin County Council.

A council spokesperson confirmed to The Dublin Gazette that, “The council remains the legal title owner at this time but St Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust have an interest in the land.”

Community activists have called on the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, to intervene.

garden Source: Balgaddy Community Garden via Facebook

Workers’ Party local representative, Lorraine Hennessy, said: “When families arrived to tend the garden earlier this week they were shocked to see large signs stating that the area was private property and padlocks on the gates.

The community garden is the only place where many local people in Balgaddy regularly meet each other. It was the first focal point for breaking down the barriers within the community, within the different estates and for people from different backgrounds.

She added that, “Community activists have repeatedly attempted to reach an agreement with the Church which would maintain this resource for the use of local families but this has been to no avail.

“We are now calling on Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in intervene and stop his organisation from destroying the garden until a fair agreement is reached that respects the rights of the local community.”

Read: Community garden ordered to close its gates “just as the gooseberries ripen”>

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