‘Consultation In Parallel’


How the Phoenix Park gates were re-opened to traffic

Phoenix Park drive through.

Closed for the rona.

Re-opened without consultation.

Freedom of Information warrior Ken Foxe writes:

Text exchange (above) between Minister of State for Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan’s private secretary and a senior Office of Public Works (OPW) official requesting the reopening of all gates in Phoenix Park.

OPW warns: “As directed, the gates will reopen from tomorrow morning. As advised … there will be a degree of opposition to this.”

The gates re-opened the next morning.

An email from OPW Chairman Maurice Buckley also shows Minister O’Donovan had asked at a meeting about whether it was realistic to keep gates closed when there was “no alternative for traffic” in the surrounding areas.

Fianna Fáil Minister and TD Jack Chambers had forwarded on six representations received from constituents who had complaints about the closure of the Phoenix Park gates. He looked for a response from the OPW…

Good times.

Name that jammer (top), anyone?

Right To Know

Ken Foxe

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14 thoughts on “‘Consultation In Parallel’

  1. SOQ

    Dear Irish Times

    The largest park in a European city- also a medieval center so surrounded by crap streets- MUST remain car free.


    Affluent anti tobacco smoking cyclists in specific areas of Dublin 7 and the posh end of 15.

  2. Pee Pee

    If I’m driving to work, I’ll go thru the Phoenix Park, due to how expensive the M50 toll is. I’m sure there’s plenty others who do so for the same reason. There should be speed bumps installed in the PR, and pedestrian crossings.

    1. Rob_G

      An even more effective traffic calming measure would be to keep it closed to cars altogether.

      1. Cian

        If there is a need to move traffic from one side to the other they should put a tunnel underneath the existing road.

  3. Jonickal

    FOIs are now screenshots of text messages. No wonder we have so many tin foil hat heads to deal with ON TOP OF THE REAL ISSUES.

  4. Harry

    I’m inclined to say it’s BS because it is unimaginable that such communications happen via text message rather than email but there’s no accounting for stupidity.

    And I mean that by saying such discussion should be by email for traceability.

    1. Rob_G

      “And I mean that by saying such discussion should be by email for traceability.”

      Why do you think that they are avoiding email in the first place? Much more likely to receive an FOI request on your @oirechtas.ie email account than a work or personal phone.

      1. Cian

        Which is why FOI requests are generally worded as broadly as possible to catch this.
        If a Minister wanted to do something that wasn’t traceable they wouldn’t write it down – it would be as a phone call or face-to-face.

  5. Bruncvik

    Regardless of whether the reopening was a right decision or not (I was against the reopening, but that’s beyond the scope of this post), this kind of communication just highlights why there is a growing mistrust of the government. The government is getting called on more and more often for explaining their reasons for deciding something (see yesterday’s request by pub owners), and rightfully so. If the government was a bit smarter and less arrogant, they’d be totally transparent when making small contentions decisions, people wouldn’t be so quick at scrutinizing their every decision.

Comments are closed.

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