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Residents fight move to axe their veg patches and garden for more homes

Residents in one of the most developed parts of Dublin are protesting at the demolition of a community garden and allotments for social housing.

Weaver Square Community Group, in The Liberties, has nurtured the area for families, pensioners and others for seven years and are campaigning to save the land.

They say The Liberties has the lowest amount of green space in the city.

Residents said Dublin City Council had notified them they would be locked out of the 182sqm site on December 31.

Richard Stearn, from the community group, said: “We understand there’s a need for housing and it’s not a case of ‘not in our back yard’. But there are other sites owned by the council close by that could be used.

“Look at The Liberties in the past few years. We have had so much development and planned development for students and tourists, private developments.

“And the more this has taken place, the more community projects have left.

Green

“We need community and green spaces, not more development.”

Sam Moore (40), who lives in The Liberties with wife Emily (35), regularly uses the allotments with his children, Colm (4) and Iris (2). He said: “This is the only nearby green space where I can take the children to meet other families to teach them how to grow food.

“Colm’s been coming here since he was very small and it’s like a second home to him.

“It’s amazing that as a family we sit down to dinner and know that we have grown our own food. That’s an invaluable lesson for the children. The allotments and garden are great for my mental health as a haven to escape the city.”

A city council spokesman said: “This site at Chamber/Weaver Street is zoned for residential purposes.

“There is a housing crisis in Dublin city and we have to make best use of the limited land bank we have.

“Currently this land is being used for allotments on short- term agreements. It was always intended to develop housing on this site.

“We are trying to source an alternative location in the Dublin 8 area to cater for the allotment licensees.”

The group says 30 housing units are planned for the site next year, with 25 more for the adjoining site.