Father Collins Park was designed to be Ireland’s first wholly sustainable park, complementing the geography of Clongriffin Town and the surrounding areas since it opened in May 2009. Pioneering in terms of its design and infrastructure it truly is one of a kind; although modern in its design and functionality, it facilitates all the usual sport and fun that you’d expect from any park - and more!
Father Collins Park is built on what were the lands of Baldoyle, gifted by King of Leinster, Diarmuid MacMurrough, to the Bishop of Louth way back in the 12th Century. Traces of this ancient era are still visible today; you’ll spot the Grange Abbey ruins, a national monument, as you turn onto the Hole in the Wall Road from the Donaghmede Roundabout.
Named after Fr Joseph Collins, the first Parish Priest of the Holy Trinity Parish. The Parish started with the newly built estates of Donaghmede and Grangemore in the 1970s, and over 35 years grew to include many new developments. Clongriffin Town has been served by Holy Trinity Parish since 2005. Fr. Joseph Collins played a pivotal role in the setting up of Trinity Gaels GAA Club and was known for his great work with the youths in the area.
The Park, which was created to serve as the core of Dublin City Council’s concept for The North Fringe community and was an integral part of the Gannon Homes’ vision for a new Town, was finally opened in May 2009, by Lord Mayor at the time, Eibhlin Byrne.
In 2003, Dublin City Council hosted an international design competition - opening up the floor for a host of ideas for Father Collins Park. The winning entry, wind turbines from Argentinian architects Abelleyro and Romero, came out on top due to its focus on environmental sustainability.
Initially an iconic marker on the landscape of Clongriffin Town, the winning entry was also ahead of its time because the use of wind turbines to power park facilities has now become much more commonplace.
The Park was named ‘Best Public Space’ at the 2010 Irish Architecture Awards (RIAI).
Sustainability & Biodiversity
In total, the park has 5 wind turbines which contribute power to some park systems including lights, security, maintenance and water features (you’ll spot some of these on the walkway at the Main Street entrance). It’s estimated that the energy produced by the wind turbines saves approximately 320 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year!
Father Collins Park is home to a range of wildlife and welcomes Brent Geese from Canada each winter. There are also beautifully elegant swans who wade the water but can also be spotted regularly walking along the grassy banks with their cygnets. In order to ensure ecological growth going into the future, over 3000 trees were planted during the Park’s development.
Father Collins Park was built with people in mind, as part of the infrastructure planned for the new housing developments which continue to grow in and around Clongriffin Town. As a result, there is a multitude of amenities within its 26 hectares.
When it comes to sport, the park boasts 5 playing pitches (supporting both soccer and GAA) and includes state of the art changing facilities. And for those you like to keep fit and active, there are exercise machines dotted around the perimeter of the park and a flat 1.5km track which is perfect for cycling, walking or jogging - it’s also where the weekly 5km Park Run takes place!
Near the main entrance, there is a terrific skate park which is one of the first of its kind in Ireland and is something you’d likely see in the parks in Barcelona or Paris! The skate park is designed for street skaters across three levels, and at any given time you’ll find guys and girls of all ages and abilities practising - you’ll even spot people coming from other parts of the city on the number 15 bus to try it out! Another facility you don’t find in every park is an amphitheatre which sits on the North end of the lake, the back of which incorporates a cascading water feature which is lit up from dusk.
And of course there is not one but two playgrounds designed to suit kids at different ages - the ground in each of these is made from recycled rubber to minimise bumps and bruises!
The primary entrance can be found at the top of Main Street, Clongriffin Town, while it’s also accessible by multiple entrances on the Hole in the Wall Road, Marsfield Road and Park Avenue. The park can be reached directly from the City Centre via the number 15 bus and also has parking facilities.
Father Collins Park really is the heart of Clongriffin Town and is used by hundreds of people of all ages each week.
As the area expands we look forward to seeing more families and friends enjoying this fantastic facility. If you haven’t spotted it yet, be sure to check out the fantastic video below which showcases the beauty of Father Collins Park!