OPW publishes Phoenix Park Visitor Experience, Draft Strategic Review

19 March 19

The Office of Public Works together with its strategic partners Fáilte Ireland and The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, have launched an independent review of the current visitor experience in the Phoenix Park and assessment of future opportunities for the development and enhancement of the Park. The Draft Review will be on public display for the next three weeks and the public are invited to make observations and comments.

The 'Draft Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review' commissioned last year examines five distinct zones in the Park and considers themes of welcome, history and heritage, activity and wellbeing, identity, biodiversity and connectivity with the city to assess the current and future potential visitor experience at the Phoenix Park. The report sets out 29 distinct recommendations, which, if implemented would increase the Park’s contribution to Ireland’s tourism economy while at the same time ensure that the unique character of the Phoenix Park would be conserved and protected for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Speaking about the Draft Review Minister for the OPW and Flood Relief Kevin 'Boxer' Moran said, "The Phoenix Park is a magical part of the City and provides invaluable health, recreational and environmental benefits for so many communities. This Draft Strategic Review aims to further realise the Park’s potential as one of the truly great parks of the World while also ensuring that the unique features that comprise the Phoenix Park will be conserved and protected for the enjoyment of generations to come."

Head of Attractions at Fáilte Ireland, Mary Stack, said, "The Phoenix Park is already a fantastic amenity for tourists and locals alike and contributes significantly to Dublin’s reputation as a leading capital city which is side-by-side with nature. At Fáilte Ireland, we see major potential for the park to evolve as a world-class visitor attraction. That’s why, alongside our strategic partners at the OPW, we are creating a strategic review for the park and carrying out a review of the current visitor experience. This, alongside the public’s feedback, will guide the future development of an enhanced and seamless visitor experience, opening up the wealth of stories to be told in the natural and historic setting of the Phoenix Park."

The Public are invited to make comments and observations on the plans which are on display in the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre until Friday 5th April. Alternatively, the details of the draft report can be viewed online - http://phoenixpark.ie/visitor-experience-strategic-review/. The completed strategic review reflecting public feedback will be published next month and once formally adopted by the OPW Board, the relevant planning applications will be submitted during the course of this year.

-ENDS-

Note to Editors

The Phoenix Park is Europe’s largest city park, comprising 1750 acres. It was first opened to the public in 1747 as a place of enjoyment for all the citizens of Dublin. Today, the Park is enjoyed by 10 million local, national and international visitors annually. The Park plays a central role in the life of Dublin city and is itself a diverse microcosm.  Not only is it a sanctuary from the city but it is an important sports, recreation and public amenity and is home to a range of institutions such as Dublin Zoo, An Garda Siochána, the US Ambassador’s Residence and Áras an Uachtaráin. As the World’s urban population will double from 3.5 billion to over 7 billion in the next 40 years, parks and open spaces will become ever-more critical elements in the creation of vibrant cities and healthy communities. The Phoenix Park will therefore be central to how Dublin city continues to evolve as a great place to live, work and visit.

An exhibition on the highlights of the report takes place from Monday 19th March – Friday 5th April, between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday – Sunday in the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, Ashtown Demesne.  A full draft report will also be available to view.

Observations with respect to the draft report can be made to visitorpark@opw.ie or sent to the below address no later than 12th April, 2019 at 6pm.

Ms. Cathy Mahon
Office of Public Works
Heritage Services
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 V240