The Office of Public Works (OPW) welcomes the news of seven OPW parks being awarded the Green Flag Award for 2017.

St. Stephen’s Green Park, Castletown Demesne, Derrynane Historic Park, Garinish Island, Grangegorman Military Cemetery, the Irish National War Memorial Gardens and the Phoenix Park were awarded the Green Flag at a ceremony in Malahide Castle today.

Maurice Buckley, Chairman, Office of Public Works said “I am delighted that the Office of Public Works has been awarded these flags for such wonderfully diverse parks. The OPW places great importance on the sustainable management and conservation of the State’s Heritage sites, and the Green Flag scheme is a wonderful way of recognising and celebrating these high standards”.

The Green Flag Awards, administered by An Taisce in the Republic of Ireland, recognise and encourage the provision of good quality parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways. The awards are marked on eight criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.

The Green Flag Award Scheme supports best practice management of parks and green spaces across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, and has been running in Ireland since its pilot in 2015.

The Phoenix Park at 707 hectares is one of the largest enclosed recreational spaces within any European capital city. The Park was established in 1662 as a Royal Deer Park by James Butler, Duke of Ormond, on behalf of King Charles II. The Park is located 2.5km west of Dublin City, is bounded by a stonewall 11km in length and has 22kms of roads.

The Park represents a unique natural and cultural landscape that is both a historic park and a city park and which provides a setting for a range of activities and amenities and acts as a location for a number of important public institutions and residences. As a natural and built historic park, enclosed over 300 years ago by a demesne wall, The Phoenix Park is unique in Ireland.

The Park has been managed by the OPW as a National Historic Park since it was so designated in 1986. The conservation and management of the park is guided by the Florence Charter on historic gardens as set out by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites).

Pictured from left (above): Rosemary Collier, Principal Officer OPW, Maurice Buckley Chairman, OPW, Paul McDonnell Park Superintendent, Phoenix Park, Declan Bermingham, Landscape Foreman, Phoenix Park, Brian Quinn Gardener, Meeda Downey Gardener and Des Donnelly, Foreman, Maurice Cleary Service Manager, Phoenix Park, John Mc Mahon, Commissioner OPW. Picture Colm Mahady / Fennells – Copyright© Fennell Photography 2017