11 Dec 2019

Christmas on the Green 2019

We had a great Christmas event on the Green last Saturday afternoon. It was our biggest turn-out yet, and it was lovely to see so many neighbours of all stages and ages turn up to sample the mulled wine and talk to Santa.

We had half an hour or so of Christmas swag-making to kick off the festivities. Some lovely leafy creations were created and are hanging on doors around the area. Thanks to the Tidy Districts Team for organising this. Thanks to them also for the great pallet Christmas trees and wreaths that are decorating our Green. (Hopefully the pallet trees won’t meet the same fate as last year, when someone threw one in the back of a van in the middle of the night and drove off with it.)

Santa arrived from the Larchfield Road direction at about 4.30pm ringing his magical bell. We understand he parked his sleigh in Rosemount. Good grazing for the reindeer he said. The kids were delighted to see him, and the selection box frenzy commenced. Liz, our head elf, did a great job keeping everyone in line despite the crazed sugar highs. Santa was then given the important job of turning on the Christmas lights. After a magical countdown Santa used his Santa-y magic and low and behold the lights went on. A hushed awe descended on the crowd, (video link). Seriously though, thanks to the helper elves for sorting out the lights on the tree!

Mince pies and crisps were scoffed, juice and mulled wine was quaffed. The odd politician or three turned up, and there were plenty of chats and lots of laughing.

We had an early Christmas present for those who came – a print-out of a brand new Roebuck memoir. Mrs. Eileen Graham, a long time resident of Larchfield Road, very kindly wrote a short and fascinating account of her life. She was ably helped in this task by her neighbour Ms. Marie Ryan. We’d like to thank Eileen and Marie very much for putting this together for us, and we were delighted to see Eileen at the event on Saturday.

Thanks to everyone who came, and to those who donated to Alone. We raised a total of €444, which has already been sent on to this hardworking charity.

Thanks to everyone who helped out – those who organised everything behind the scenes, those who helped give out the food and drink on the day, those who helped set up the marquees and tables, those who helped with the collection, those who cleaned up, Lynam’s who provided the mince pies, crisps and juice, and of course a special thank you to the big man in red himself. It’s a busy time of the year for him, so we’re very thankful he could fit our little event in!

We would like to wish all our members a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

This event was part-sponsored by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

11 Dec 2019

From Melbourne to Roebuck

We have a lovely Christmas treat for all our members – a new memoir from a long-time Larchfield Road resident, Mrs. Eileen Graham.

We would like to thank Mrs. Graham very much for sharing memories of her very interesting life with us. We would also like to thank her neighbour, Ms. Marie Ryan, for organising, interviewing, and writing it all down.

This is our third Roebuck memoir (see here and here), and we get such great feedback about them. If any other resident, or residents, would consider putting one together for us, we would be delighted. We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

From Melbourne to Roebuck

At a hail and hearty 92, Eileen Graham is one of Roebuck Park’s most long-established residents. Eileen has lived on Larchfield Road since 1956 where she settled a few years after getting married to her late husband Rupert.

Born in Melbourne in 1927, where her parents, originally from Herefordshire in the UK, had emigrated looking for work. They returned, along with Eileen, to the UK in 1930 when she was three and she grew up in the town of Morecombe. Her father joined the RAF during World War 2 and was posted in various locations in North Africa. Fortunately, he returned home safely after the war, unlike her grandfather who fought and was killed in the battle of the Somme in World War 1.

Eileen was 13 when the war started, and she was evacuated to the home of her paternal grandparents in the Welsh countryside to keep her safe. Her mother, a mid-wife, stayed on to run a nursing home in Morecombe with her maternal grandmother.

Following in the family footsteps, Eileen trained to be a nurse in Blackpool for 4 years. It was there that she met many Irish girls who has gone to train in the UK. A tradition that still exists today. After training, Eileen continued to work as a staff nurse in Blackpool and it was there she hatched a plan with some of her Irish friends to return to Australia in the hope of finding work in one of the Fever hospitals where there was a shortage of nurses at that time.

However, she first had to do some training in the area of fevers, and as she had during her time in Blackpool befriended many Irish nurses, her intention was to come to Dublin for a little while and get some experience and training in the fever hospital on Cork Street. However, the best-laid plans and all of that…

Eileen found conditions in the hospital on Cork St very different from Blackpool. Dirty, squalid, with a very strict Matron who made her remove her lipstick, Eileen left after a fortnight and would have returned to the UK only while attending a church service in Maynooth where she was staying with her friend’s family, she met Rupert.

Rupert and Eileen got married in 1951 and spent their honeymoon travelling around France on a motorbike. They settled initially in a flat in town opposite the Gaiety Theatre before purchasing their home on Larchfield Road which was three years old in 1956.

In 1956, Roebuck Park was in the countryside and Eileen’s three daughters grew up surrounded by fields.

One of her daughters recalls a stream at the end of Friarsland Road where they used to collect frogspawn in an attempt for catch a few frog sightings. Trimbleston was a farm where from time to time they would visit to buy honey. You could travel into town on the 62 bus and one of Eileen’s outstanding memories is of opening her front door after heavy rain in 1962 to find a boy travelling down Larchfield Road on a canoe!

Annual holidays for the Grahams were camping in various locations around Ireland where they would pitch their tent, fire up the primus stove and relax…

Eileen retains a love of travelling to this day, having recently returned from a Danube cruise. For her 90th birthday she ventured further afield and spent two weeks taking in the sights of India.

Similar to today, Roebuck Park was not just a housing estate, but a community, and Eileen had many friends who lived locally and took turns visiting each other’s houses where they played poker, had supper and a few drinks. The Goat was frequented sometimes and if you knew a member who would sign you in, you could also have a drink in the bar of the IGB club.

Reflecting on the changes in the area, one of the things Eileen notices is how much busier the place is, and although most people had a car in the 1950s and 60s, how much busier the roads have become. On a positive note, Eileen says that there is more to do and more happening in the neighbourhood.

She herself keeps very busy and the hardest part of getting this article written was pinning Eileen down for a time to meet. Between Tai Chi, dancing, Whist, The League of Health and various other classes in Taney Resource centre, Eileen is a busy lady.

27 Nov 2019

Bike Parking – Update

The Council have informed us they intend to proceed with the installation of bike parking on Farmhill Road.

They have informed us they have reviewed the area again and have come up with an alternative location on the nearby double yellow lines as per the image below.

They say this will provide cycle parking for 10 bikes on 5 cycle stands.

They believe that the advantages of the latest proposal are the following:

1. It overcomes the main local objection to the cycle parking proceeding as no car parking spaces will be removed as part of the latest proposal

2. It is easier and quicker to install a Toaster cycle stand than 4 individual cycle stands

14 Nov 2019

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Sold

Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been sold for development, for €3 million. Most likely apartments will be built here, as it’s zoned for residential development. According to this Irish Times article:

“It is understood that the new owners intend to keep Uncle Tom’s Cabin open and trading for the time being, until a final decision is made on the type of scheme for which planning permission will be sought. “

This will be probably be the last Christmas you can enjoy a cozy pint in this long-established pub.

12 Nov 2019

Bike Parking

The Council has indicated that they wish to provide bike parking at the shops area on Farmhill Road. Over the last couple of years the Council has been rolling out an initiative across all of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown to improve the frequency and quality of bike parking in the county.

They are proposing to put a small amount of bike parking on the public slip-road between the shops and the Green. Two stands of two “n” bars on either side of the pedestrian access to the shops’ forecourt are being proposed.

This location solves two problems here:
1. The need for bike parking
2. The Council has highlighted a pedestrian safety issue at this location. There should be a 45 degree clear “sightline” from the kerb out to the road, in order to allow for enough line of sight for people crossing the road. This would equate to a small yellow box-type area of approximately 2 metres either side. Enough space to install the small bike racks, and to improve pedestrian safety at this area.

The Residents’ Association supports this proposal. The Council is keen to install it as soon as possible.

10 Nov 2019

Review of the Strategic Housing Development Process

Some residents may be interested in The Report of the Review Group on the Operation of the Strategic Housing Development process 2017-2019 which was published recently. This was a report compiled to investigate the SHD (Fast-track) planning process, ahead of a possible extension for a further two years. The Residents’ Association made a submission during the public consultation in the summer. We argued against its continuation for various reasons, as did many politicians, community groups etc. This Report has now been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

This report makes many recommendations to improve the process, including a possible “use it or lose it” clause, if the development is not commenced after a period of eighteen months. The Group also recommended increasing response times during the process, hosting the planning details on a planning authority website, not the developers, allowing the public more access to An Bord Pleanala reports, and also increasing the threshold from 100 units to 200 units. There are many other recommendations listed in the document.

Unfortunately, while Minister Eoghan Murphy agreed with the introduction of the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ clause, he rejected suggestions to double the threshold, claiming it would lead to confusion, and to extend the time-frame for public consultation. The Minister will sign an order to implement the changes before the end of the year.

It’s disappointing that the Minister is not taking on board more of the Report’s recommendations. Thanks to Cllr Anne Colgan for sending this on, and thanks to Senator Victor Boyhan for consulting with us, and communicating the Association’s experience and opinion of this SHD process during the recent Joint Oireachtas Committee meeting.

07 Nov 2019

Spring Bulbs

You may have noticed the Tidy Districts’ Team out planting bulbs over the last few weeks. These amazing ladies are planting over 50kg (i.e. a serious amount of bulbs) around our area. There is going to be a riot of colour here come the Spring time. Daffodils, tulips, crocuses, snowdrops etc. etc.

07 Nov 2019

Reclaim the Footpaths

We are re-launching our Reclaim the Footpaths initiative we successfully ran a few years ago. We’ve had quite a few complaints recently from residents (including wheelchair users) in relation to hedges and trees overhanging, and encroaching onto, the footpaths in the area.

We are asking that residents look at the path outside your house and remove any vegetation from your garden growing above the footpaths. If your hedge is encroaching onto the footpath, it needs to be cut back to be in line with the garden wall.

Parents with buggies, or small kids on bikes/scooters, know how annoying it is when passing houses with big hedges that encroach out onto the footpath. It makes going two abreast difficult, if not impossible. It is also a particular problem for wheelchair users.

“Twig Eye”

As well as being really annoying for walkers and wheelchair users, it’s a safety concern, especially at night when it’s hard to see vegetation. Nobody wants to make a trip to The Eye & Ear with “twig eye”!

If you need help to cut back your hedge, we can pass on contact details of a reliable local hedge-cutter.

07 Nov 2019

Christmas Party – Save the Date

Our Christmas party will be held on the green on Saturday 7th December this year, probably between 4pm and 6pm.

  • Santa
  • Awe and wonder when the Christmas lights are turned on
  • Mulled wine
  • Scintillating conversation
  • Mulled wine
  • Fancy new card machine to pay your €20 annual subscription (so excuses about carrying no cash will no longer be acceptable!)
  • New €10 donation (per family) for people who come but who don’t live in the Association’s area
  • Mulled wine

Bet you can’t wait. More details to follow…