Angry exchanges at Drogheda meeting as Louth County Council has ‘no plans’ for local dog park

A committee has now been formed to work on getting a dog park up and running in Drogheda

A committee has been formed in Drogheda to provide a dog park possibly similar to this one in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Alison ComynDrogheda Independent

There were angry exchanges at the May meeting of Drogheda councillors at the brief response by officials to the proposal of a dog park in the town.

The motion was raised by Cllrs Paddy McQuillan and Kevin Callan, however despite compelling arguments and numerous queries by members of the public, a one-line response from the Director of Services merely indicated there were “no plans to build a dog park or run on council land”.

Nonetheless, a committee has been formed to work on getting a dog park in Drogheda.

Cllr McQuillan said, despite the brief response, there would be a huge demand for such a facility, which has become a common feature of many other towns and counties.

“Dog parks have become a very popular community facility around the country. They are spaces where dog owners of all ages and backgrounds can meet. They encourage active lifestyles for people and they improve dog socialisation skills.

"Fingal County Council alone has created seven dog parks of all types and sizes. From figures attained from LCC for the year 2022, there were 7,788 licences issued to responsible dog owners in the county. This figure is up from 6000 in 2019. I think it would be safe to say that as the largest town in Ireland, soon to be a city, there must be 2000 responsible dog owners in Drogheda,” explained Cllr McQuillan.

“I have also spoken with Drogheda’s two largest pet stores, Maxi Zoo and All Pets, about the demand for these facilities in the town and they are willing to help to see this community facility materialise”.

Cllr Kevin Callan also raised the issue and was disappointed in the idea not being investigated further.

“Following my previous motion to Louth County Council in 2022 I was inundated with support from responsible dog owners to pursue this project. A dedicated Facebook page has been set up (Drogheda Dog Park) which now has almost 400 followers. With the new development of the north side of the town I believe that land could be identified as suitable. There needs to be a willingness on the part of Louth County Council. Up to now the council have unfortunately refused to even explore my motion. I believe that the council has a duty to explore the possibility of Drogheda having a dog park,” added Cllr McQuillan,

“As mentioned, these community facilities have become very popular in large urban areas. I have visited many of these facilities including dog parks in Arklow, Greystones, Donabate, Malahide, St Anne’s Park and Grifeen Park. Responsible dog owners expressed how much they enjoyed and valued them. Indeed Meath County Council has now decided to explore the possibility of having one of these community facilities in Blackwater Park, and they have a population of less than half the size of Drogheda”.