13/09/2019 – Pictured at today’s Green Flag ceremony at Dominic’s Park were (from left): Paddy Donnelly, Director of Services Louth County Council, Aisling Burke, Stephen Lynagh, Elias Mlimbila, Mayor Paul Bell, Tony Kenny and Tom “Slim” Cunningham. Photo: Andy Spearman.
Dominic’s Park on the South bank of the River Boyne was in the past a target for vandals and had suffered the effects of anti-social behaviour but these days it is a haven of peace and tranquility that is enjoyed by many townspeople.
This morning a small but meaningful ceremony took place in which a Green Flag was raised as a testament to the hard work by Council staff in maintaining the park to a high standard.
Dominic’s Park is one of four parks in County Louth managed by the Council to have been awarded Green Flags for the third year in a row. The others are Blackrock Park, St Helens Park and Ice House Hill Park.
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark international standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces. The scheme, which originated in the UK, recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces around the world.
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The Green Flag Award scheme is also operating in Australia, Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Wales.
The green Flag Award scheme aims to encourage the provision of good quality public parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways.
In Ireland the scheme is run by An Taisce-The National Trust of Ireland. A pilot scheme was started in 2015 in the Dublin area and a total of six parks were given awards.
Louth County Council participated for the first time in 2016 and achieved one flag that year but in 2017 and every year since it has proudly achieved four Flags for its parks. Louth was the only county outside Dublin to achieve four flags.
The Green Flag Awards scheme is judged by green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant parks / sites and assess them against eight strict criteria. These criteria include horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, health and safety presentation of place, conservation, biodiversity and heritage, and community involvement.
Parks and green spaces are normally judged in May and June each year and the winners are announced in July. Parks must apply each year to keep their Green Flag Award, and winning sites are eligible to fly a Green Flag in the park for a year.
“Flags that are flying this year in Louth parks is in testament to the efforts of many staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award” a Council spokesperson said.
“The often unseen hard work of many park staff over many years has provided Ireland with a wealth of treasured parks, gardens, and green spaces.
“The council is proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in Louth for people to experience, and it encourages the public to head outdoors, explore and enjoy their local area”
“Parks and green spaces are vitally important to the health and the emotional wellbeing of our communities. The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards the very best green spaces.
“These important amenities provide us with a place to relax and enjoy the nature, and are major attractions for tourists and other visitors to Louth.”