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Families' fury as council refuses to cut long grass

DUBLIN families are furious that tall grass is taking over their parks and pitches -- with the council refusing to cut it as part of a 'biodiversity' move.

Under its new scheme, Growing Places Initiative 2010, Fingal County Council has reduced grass cutting in dozens of popular local parks and greens to encourage biodiversity.

But residents across Fingal County are complaining of health problems, litter issues, and a lack of recreational space since the new move was brought in.


Eamon Scott, from Seabury Residents Association, said: "It looks like a smokescreen for cutbacks, and this was introduced by the council, not councillors.

"With these meadows, we're finding lots of tins. And there are health issues, people are giving out because they suffer from bronchial or asthma conditions, and there's a lot of pollen blowing in the winds," he added.

He stressed that the summer months are when green spaces are most used by estate residents, but now the summer will become a period when grass will grow the longest.

The Association forced the council to cut two thirds of its long grass after it sent complaints to council officials who said they'd only cut one third.

"The parks are there for everyone, and having the meadows is devaluing the value of houses and it's making the place look unkempt.

"As a result of complaints, emails, and lobbying they have cut another raft of grass."

Castleview Residents Association Committee has declined the proposal of a wildflower meadow on its estate because of its concerns over litter, as well as reducing the amount of play areas for children.

The committee's website has said: "It would be difficult to see broken bottles or dog litter, which would be a hazardous concern for children playing. We are going to propose that the main green down the centre of the estate be cut fortnightly and hope that the council agree with our proposal."

Cllr Kieran Dennison, a local representative, told the Herald that the Growing Places initiative was not explained to residents beforehand, and some of the chosen areas for biodiversity were not suitable.

"The problem is that some of the locations chosen by the council are just not suitable," he said. "They're in the middle of housing estates where children normally play, and simply leaving a kickabout area is not good enough."