Today, An Taisce Environmental Education acknowledged Ireland’s best public parks and gardens with the announcement of the 2021 International Green Flag Awards.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) welcomed the news that 11 OPW sites were among a group of over 100 Irish public parks, gardens and voluntary run green community sites across the Republic of Ireland who received their 2021 Green Flags. These were Altamont House & Gardens in Co. Carlow, Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre in Co. Meath, Castletown Demesne in Co. Kildare, Derrynane Historic Park in Co. Kerry, Fota Arboretum & Gardens and Garinish Island in Co. Cork, Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Irish National War Memorial Gardens, St. Stephen’s Green Park, The Iveagh Gardens and The Phoenix Park in Dublin.
This year, An Taisce implemented the national roll out of the Green Heritage Accreditation Award with the support of the NPWS and the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage. These accreditation awards are given to green spaces of specific historic significance, with 7 Green Heritage Sites in Ireland receiving this merit in 2021. Among the recipients of this inaugural award are the Irish National War Memorial Gardens and the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, two exceptional sites with their own unique cultural significance and historic importance.
Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works said
“I am delighted to see that the OPW has been awarded these flags which highlights the wonderfully diverse parks in our care. Over the last 18 months, these beautiful green spaces have been a lifeline for the Irish public, as places to escape to and help with our wellbeing and mindfulness during this testing time. I particularly would like to congratulate all the OPW staff whose dedicated work and commitment to each property has contributed towards these Awards. The OPW places great importance on the sustainable environmental management and conservation of the State’s Heritage sites, and the Green Flag Awards 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. This International Scheme is in place across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, and has been running in Ireland since 2015.