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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Brian Byrne The scene on Bull Island last summer.
bay watch

There's a plan to bring parking back on Dollymount (along with a new beach boardwalk)

Some groups will be given passes to drive on the beach – and a new boardwalk will be built on the Clontarf end, it’s planned.

A COUNCIL DECISION to bring in parking restrictions on Dollymount Beach in Dublin ruffled quite a few feathers last year, as you may recall.

The decision to ban vehicles from Bull Island’s two car parks – at the Causeway and the Wooden Bridge – was made after a car got stuck in the sand last summer.

A woman was injured in the incident, and the Council contended that due to the “haphazard nature of parking” the area was unsafe for emergency vehicles.

Some of the restrictions, at the Wooden Bridge (Clontarf) end of the beach were later lifted – and its now emerged that the Council has been working on a new three-year plan for the popular bathing spot and nature reserve, which covers 5km of coastline along the north of Dublin Bay.

Details of the plan were discussed with local councillors in recent weeks.

So what’s being planned?

The new scheme will see passes issued to local groups, like kite-surfing and all-weather bathing clubs, allowing them to drive onto the beach.

A new car park will also be built at the Wooden Bridge end of the island – with a boardwalk running from the car park to the beach itself.

At the Causeway (Raheny) entrance to the beach, parking will be re-arranged to allow for more cars. A new playground is also being proposed, close to the interpretive centre.

A written report on the proposals will be published next month, it’s planned – followed by a public consultation process. Local groups have already been consulted on various details.

Bull Island. Pictured The Statue of Ma Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland The Statue of Mary - at the end of the North Bull Wall. Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Some elements of the three-year plan will also require planning permission – and separate consultation periods will be required for those projects. None of the new structures will be in areas important to conservation, according to sources familiar with the plan.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Sean Haughey said he welcomed the new initiative, and noted that unlike last year’s “unilateral” decision on parking “consultation is central to this new draft plan”.

He said he was satisfied it would provide a compromise solution to the parking problem, and had to potential to enhance the amenity “for all beach users” in the future.

Read: Planning a day out on Dollymount Beach? Well you can’t park on it… Here’s why

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