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Sunday 18 February 2018

Urban farm re-opens to public after €11m facelift

Three-year-old Sive McEntee, from Monkstown, and Emilie Dillon, 22 months, from Clonskeagh, make a new friend at Airfield Farm
Three-year-old Sive McEntee, from Monkstown, and Emilie Dillon, 22 months, from Clonskeagh, make a new friend at Airfield Farm
Joyce Fegan

Joyce Fegan

IT IS the working farm hidden away in the city. Just yards from Dundrum's bustling shopping centre, livestock graze in peaceful Airfield estate.

The urban farm has reopened after an €11m and two-year renovation, and expects more than 200,000 visitors this year.

The Dundrum farm was given to the Irish State by the Overend family in 1974 and is now the largest working farm in Ireland, at 38-acres, open to the public.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said the newly renovated farm represented "a real opportunity for city and suburban families to experience nature".

As well as being a working farm, Airfield now has a milking parlour, dairy, ornamental gardens and a three-acre food display garden.

The staff of 50 aim to attract the 200,000 visitors in the next eight months through a busy schedule of events, which include an Easter egg trail, horse-drawn ploughing and a sheep-shearing competition.

Mr Coveney said: "I'd like to congratulate the development team here at Airfield for their work in transforming the estate through significant development and investment."

He also paid tribute to the Overend sisters, Letitia and Naomi, who preserved the farm and developed it over the past century.

The Overend sisters were also key figures in the setting up of the Children's Sunshine Home, now the Laura Lynn Foundation, the children's hospice in Leopardstown, Co Dublin.

Irish Independent

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