Heritage Week took place this year from 17- 25 August.…
Stoneybatter’s water mural – adding vibrancy to a vibrant place
Thomas Carolan from the Local Authority Waters Programme tells us how Stoneybatter’s community became Ireland’s first pollinator friendly community, and how rainwater planters and a mural are helping the community get involved in treasuring their water…
Stoneybatter is a vibrant area in Dublin city centre. The community in Stoneybatter are very engaged in environmental initiatives. Recently it was recognised by the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan as Ireland’s first pollinator-friendly community. To get this recognition, 70 sites (so far) signed up to help pollinators in Stoneybatter:
- 54 gardens
- 10 businesses
- 2 headquarters/ campuses including Technical University Dublin
- 1 school
- 3 local community sites
Rainwater Planters Project
As part of an effort to expand the community’s environmental focus and address urban water issues, the LAWPRO Community Water Officer, Thomas Carolan is working with Bí Urban, who are a nature-based social enterprise based in Stoneybatter.
Bí Urban were successful in their application for funding to LAWPRO’s Community Water Development Fund 2020. Their project aims to construct rainwater (down-pipe) planters in as many gardens in Stoneybatter as possible. These planters are connected to the downpipe of a house in a similar way to a water butt. The benefit of these planters is that they divert excess rainwater from the drainage network, which in periods of heavy rainfall can cause overflows into the Liffey directly affecting water quality. The planters also help to conserve water by limiting demand on mains water for watering the plants in the planter boxes. Finally, the planters provide more pollinator-friendly plants throughout Stoneybatter, which benefits the overall environmental objectives for the community.
Water and water quality in Dublin
The rainwater planters project is one of several water-related initiatives that the Stoneybatter community and the Community Water Officer are planning in the area. This is because water and water quality do not always receive a lot of attention from communities in an urban setting. However, there is a growing awareness of the need to protect and conserve water as a resource in urban areas. The boil water notice that was called for 600,000 people in the greater Dublin area (including Stoneybatter) in 2019 highlighted this issue. As mentioned by Sean Laffey of Irish Water at the recent EPA 2020 Conference: “…we’re having our second drought in three years…” and this puts significant pressure on water resources.
The Water Mural: Pride of Place
In this context Stoneybatter Pride of Place (POP) in collaboration with the Community Water Officer decided to fund a water-themed mural that would highlight these extremely important issues and draw attention to the water-related initiatives planned for Stoneybatter.
Seáneen Sullivan who is a member of Stoneybatter POP and the owner of L. Mulligan Grocery in the heart of Stoneybatter agreed to have the water mural adorn the gate of her iconic city centre establishment, arguably giving the mural the most prominent spot in the city centre village of Stoneybatter. The image and message were designed to be simple but effective, which was beautifully achieved by artist Holly Pereira.