Help Save Malahide Castle Woodlands

At 5pm today (BST) our Councillors in Fingal County Council in North County Dublin will vote on a proposed development which will allow a commercial enterprise operate a ‘Treetop Canopy Adventure’ in 5 hectares of ancient woodland in Malahide Castle.

I grew up here in Malahide and from my earliest memories the castle and it’s woodlands were my playground. We climbed trees and explored the hidden woodlands as children and as teenagers we languidly spend our school holidays watching the cricket under a shady tree. I spent years in London, started my own family and then migrated back to the town that shaped me. The Castle has always been the focal point of this beautiful village. My tiny London natives now have their earliest memories intertwined with the trees and serenity of the Castle grounds.

Malahide Castle built in 1185, is not only one of the oldest Castles in Ireland but it is home to some exceptional fauna and wildlife. The Castle belonged to the Talbot Family for 800 years until 1973 when it was sold to the State to pay inheritance taxes. Lord Talbot was an avid collector and spent many years collecting seeds and plants from Australia where they surprisingly flourished in our often damp seaside climate. As a result, we also inherited the much maligned ‘Malahide’ mosquito which is responsible for keeping the Castle’s thriving colony of bats well fed. This habitat is unique to Ireland and it’s fragility cannot be overstated.

Everyday I am there for a run or walk with the dogs. Fridays after school are spent in the castle playground and always on the same picnic bench. Mothers chat while the kids climb and explore. Saturday’s football matches are played on the Castle pitches, Parents’ on the sidelines, both hands encircling a takeaway cup of hot Avoca coffee in a vain attempt to keep warm. Sundays can be whatever I want them to be, spending time in the grounds with no schedule to hinder my amble.

The Castle and it’s grounds are part of the fabric of this village and are enshrined in our DNA. It belongs to us and we know it and we will fight tooth and nail to protect it. I never take it for granted and want to cherish this incredible ancient fortress as it has cherished me and my family.

Please sign this petition if you think there is any validity in what I am saying. Once this has been done it cannot be undone. In the last 40 years the Castle has changed hugely and nearly always for the better but I implore you, do not let this next step be a step to far.

You can sign the petition today. We will be handing the petitions to the Lord Mayor of Fingal at 1630 in advance of the Council vote.

Save Malahide Castle Woodlands Petition

You can also visit the Facebook Page: Save Malahide castle woodland.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Help Save Malahide Castle Woodlands

  1. I hope they maintain that sense of nostalgia and peace for you. That was one thing I loved about Ireland was that sense of calm, I can see where a tourist attraction like that could damage that for the village and you. Look at Killarney, it’s overrun with tourist and even the tourist themselves don’t want that. Now do they feel the attraction is necessary for the funds needed for upkeep?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I think the Castle is well funded. I agree about Killarney and that is my big worry too. I don’t want them to kill the Goose that laid the Golden egg. Unfortunately the Councillors ruled in favour of the proposal so it is due to go ahead. Not sure at this stage if it can be contested….thank you so much for your interest. This little story made the National Newspapers!

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  2. That is not the case Geraldine. At least one of the Councillors was born and bred here in Malahide and not one Malahide based Councillor voted against the proposal. That aside, it is a shame that the commercialisation of this national treasure is relentless. Right now Malahide Castle, I feel had the perfect balance. There are other historic Castles in Fingal that could really benefit from some of this development funding. The funding should be more even-handed throughout Fingal in my opinion. Thank you for stopping by and contributing to the discussion.

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  3. Hi Green Bee,

    You just sent me a Twitter message about this, probably one of hundreds you’ve sent out to your Twitter followers. It’s the first I’ve heard of this issue. Can you reply to me, please, at environs@iol.ie and tell me more.

    For example, if the council has voted in favour of a car park, can anything be done at this stage? If so, what? What do you want from us, the public?

    Also, what is the area threatened with development: where is it, how big is it, how much of the existing woodland will it remove?

    Also, you say ‘ancient woodland,’ but how ancient is it? I can see from the Ordnance Survey maps from the 1830s that there was indeed woodland in the castle grounds at that time, and I also see that the footprint of today’s woodland is the same as that from the 1830s, suggesting that things have not changed much, though of course there could have been some changes in the tree species present in that space.

    Those are my questions for the moment. Can you please reply and I might have more questions then. I will help if I can.

    Best wishes,

    Coilin MacLochlainn
    Sandyford, Dublin 18

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    • Hi Coilin, thank you so much for your response. The council have voted for it (18 to 16) so the next step would be a judicial review. I will email you tomorrow with as much detail as I can. Many Thanks, Aoibhinn

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    • Thank you! Our Council Voted 18 – 16 in favour of the development but we are having a public gathering and picnic this Saturday so our elected reps know how we feel. It’s hard to show the love but we’ll give it a go……

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