Dog Walk Protest Swords - Sunday 7th April 2019
Thanks to everyone who walked with us on Sunday afternoon. Your continued support is very much appreciated! Fingal DOG committee.
PREVIOUS PROTEST - MALAHIDE
Fingal council accused of ‘driving dog-walking underground’
Bylaw means dogs can only come ‘off leash’ in set parts of public parks or at certain times
by Ellen O'Riordan Irish Times. Sun, Jan 6, 2019.
Read this article in context here: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/dog-owners-in-fingal-protest-over-new-rules-in-public-parks-1.3749142
Fingal Dog Owners Group, in Malahide Co Dublin over the weekend ahead of the protest march calling on Fingal County Council to reverse the new restrictions for dogs in public parks. Photograph: The Irish Times
Chants of “no lead, no problem” echoed around Malahide at the weekend as more than 100 dog owners marched through the north Dublin village in protest at regulations imposed by their local authority.
The demonstration was organised by the Fingal Dog Owners Group, which says it is pushing back against a “restrictive and discriminatory” Fingal County Council bylaw requiring dogs to be on leashes in public parks, except in designated zones or, in smaller parks, before 11am and after 6pm.
The council says bylaw 4.7 was a response to “reports of serious incidents involving dogs in Fingal’s public parks” which local officals said included people being bitten or scared by dogs in public spaces. It sees dog-owners fined if they do not comply.
Ella Dooley with Lady, who joined the Fingal Dog Owners Group protest march. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
The group was founded as a response to the law and has grown to have some 1,400 members on Facebook.
Most of those who attended the march said they understood the point of the restricted-hours policy but adequate lighting should be installed for walkers’ safety during those times.
However, they feel the designated areas rule means they are being forced into “caged pens” with their animals. Steel structures in which dogs can go ‘off leash’ are being erected in some of the area’s larger parks.
Dermott Byrne, the owner of a Collie-cross named Otto, said he believed the law was more to do with raising revenue than anything else.
“If you remove the dog owners from the parks, the vacuum will be filled with anti-social behaviour,” he said.
“I walk a dog to relieve stress. It’s good for your mental health...But when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder it’s no longer enjoyable. The council is driving dog-walking underground.”
John O’Callaghan, who organised the march, claimed the bylaw was “totally unnecessary”