Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council plans to abandon the Seafront Project- May 2013

Just at the moment when Dublin City Council announce they are to proceed with the last remaining section of the S2S project on the Seafront at Dollymount in the North Dublin Bay,  Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) has announced that it plans to abandon the seafront location for the S2S in the South Dublin Bay.  It now plans to “re-route” it away from the seafront into Blackrock Park and on to the Merrion Road.  The new policy is set out in Section 9 of the recently published Draft Blackrock Local Area Plan.  If implemented, there will be no seafront walkway or cycleway between Sandymount and Dun Laoghaire.

Of the total 22 kms around Dublin Bay only 4 Kms is now missing on the available seafront and it is this section that DLRCC proposes to abandon. It is simply incredible that a vision which has such public support and in which so much time, effort and public money has been invested by the Department of Transport Trade and Tourism, Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and the Dublin Transport Authority, the Dublin Regional Authority and (in former times) by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, can be destroyed by the actions of the officials in one local authority.  It should be noted that the majority of the Councillors in Dun Laoghaire have consistently supported the S2S project.

The likely negative impact on the local habitats is given as the reason for abandoning the seafront location and the re-routing of it into Blackrock Park (and then onto the Merrion Road).  Note that it is the likely impact on which the decision is made.  While it is acknowledged that The National Parks and Wildlife Service have expressed concern about the proposal, the process by which developments are determined to be acceptable or not, is clearly set out in the Habitats Directives. It requires a study called an Appropriate Assessment to be undertaken by the relevant Local Authority before a decision can be made as to whether a proposal can or cannot proceed.  No such Appropriate Assessment has been made by DLRCC and furthermore the Council officials have made it clear that they have no intention of undertaking one.  Instead, they rely on their judgement that the process is unlikely to succeed and therefore not worth starting.  Thus DLRCC is not only denying the community the right to have the matter formally assessed in accordance with the legislation, the Council has prejudged the outcome of such a study, significantly damaging the possibility of the matter receiving an impartial hearing.

What is even more frustrating in all of this is that DLRCC could just go ahead and do what they are proposing to upgrade the existing cycleway in Blackrock Park and around the Dart Station without any reference to the S2S project in the draft Blackrock Local Area Plan.  The fact that they have not done so but instead have stated that they are re-routing the S2S project inland, leads one to believe that their intention is not so much focussed on creating new facilities as stopping the S2S being completed on the seafront.  Adoption of the plan as drafted will prevent others who still believe in the vision and would wish to continue to seek solutions to the issues from doing so, destroying the hopes and aspirations other Government agencies and Local Authorities with a direct interest in the S2S project as well as the thousands of citizens who wish to see the S2S project proceed.

The S2S group has made a detailed submission to DLRCC in relation to the matter, a copy of which can be found here.

Any member of the public may make submissions to the Council and we earnestly request all those who feel strongly about the matter to do so. The closing date for submissions is the 20th June 2013. Submissions and observations may be made in one of the following ways:-

1.Write to:

Senior Executive Officer,
Planning and Enterprise Department,
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council,
County Hall,
Marine Road,
Dun Laoghaire.


2.Email to:



  • Children, or groups or associations representing the interests of children, are entitled to make submissions or observations. (How many parents wish to allow their children to cycle on the Merrion Road?)
  • All submissions and observations should include your name and a contact address and where relevant, details of any organisation, community group or company etc., which you represent.
  • Please make your submission by one medium only, i.e. hard copy or e-mail.


Supporters who wish to contact us in connection with the issue may do so by e-mail to support@s2s.ie