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The 2019 Green Flag Award winners

Trevor Gilligan, Deputy Mayor of South Dublin County Council, with the park staff of South Dublin County Council celebrating one of their four Green Flag Award wins this year. Photo: Brian Reilly-Troy.

60 Irish parks and gardens from across the country received a Green Flag Award for 2019.


Sports & Parks

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1 August 2019

Over 250 park and garden staff, volunteers, and enthusiasts, attended the 2019 Green Flag Awards at Maynooth University which took place on July 17.

There was an increase in the number of International Green Flag Award Sites in Ireland this year. Co Limerick, Co Wicklow, Galway City and Limerick City each had new sites to be accredited by teams of trained judges.

Only awarded for exceeding tough environmental standards in green space management and excellence of visitor attractions, the Green Flag Award for parks is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world.

An Taisce Environment Education revealed the 60 Irish parks and gardens who were being awarded their 2019 Green Flags. Amongst the 60 awardees was a new entrant, and winner for the first time in 2019 – Maynooth University’s St Patrick’s College.

International rankings

From among 17 countries whose parks met the standard this year, there were more Green Flag Awards secured by Irish parks and gardens than by any country, other than the UK where the scheme originated in 1996.

The 2019 awards were available to public town parks, country parks, gardens, cemeteries, and green spaces from across the whole country.

This year has also seen the expansion of the Green Flag Community Award Scheme in Ireland with additional sites in Co Galway and Co Meath being acknowledged for the excellence of their volunteer run community green spaces.

The Green Flag Community Award extends the Scheme to include community initiatives such as community gardens, community parks, and Tidy Towns projects.

“The Green Flag Community Award is a very welcome addition to the Green Flag family, and I am happy that my department supports this element of the Green Flag Award scheme. The award recognises the effort of communities and volunteers and that is what makes it so special. . . supporting community-level projects like community gardens improves the facilities and attractiveness of these communities. We are facilitating people to take positive control on how their communities develop. This Green Flag Community Award and other initiatives in my department, like Tidy Towns, are valuable in improving the quality of life for people living in rural areas. They also serve to make these communities more attractive to visitors, and in so doing help boost tourism.”, said Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development.

The Green Flag Awards are judged every year by a peer jury of green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, and community involvement.

In Ireland the Green Flag Award for parks scheme has been enthusiastically received by park management as it delivers major wins for the delivery of quality green spaces by respective parks and park departments. These include:

  • The promotion and reward for best practice management.
  • Creation of a plan for improvements and future works.
  • The building of a collaborative network of park management nationally.
  • The implementation of environmental sustainability within park management.

“In terms of urban renewal, and rural and community development, the Green Flag Award for Parks is a logical and sensible step towards supporting community engagement with green space improvement, and helps increase quality of life within our communities.”, said Robert Moss, Republic of Ireland Green Flag Award for parks manager.

Moss also noted that the Green Flag Community Award is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development because “it builds a very constructive conduit for information, knowledge, and skill-share between the professional and voluntary green space management sectors within our society”.

Pollinator Project Award

Four of the 2019 Green Flag Award winning parks were also identified by the National Biodiversity Data Centre for an additional Pollinator Project Award.

This award is specifically for those Green Flag parks or gardens that have made an effort to support the local pollinating insect populations, or to promote their importance.

The Pollinator Project Award is jointly run with An Taisce Environmental Education to support the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, and is sponsored by Young’s Nurseries. While there are pollinator project awards across different park categories it was Malahide Castle Demesne, operated by Fingal County Council, that was the overall winner.

This site features not only pollinator friendly planting and gardening, but also makes a great effort to educate the public and to promote these efforts through its website and social media.

If you are interested in finding out further information about the Green Flag Award or other programmes run by An Taisce Environmental Education email them at or telephone:  01 4002212 or 086 3579663.

2019 Green Flag Awards

  • Abbeyfeale Community Leisure Ltd Páirc Cois Féile / Abbeyfeale Park.
  • Clare County Council John O’Sullivan Park.
  • Clare County Council Tim Smythe Park.
  • Clare County Council Vandeleur Walled Gardens.
  • Dublin City Council Blessington Street Park.
  • Dublin City Council Bushy Park.
  • Dublin City Council Markievicz Park.
  • Dublin City Council Poppintree Park.
  • Dublin City Council Saint Anne’s Park.
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Blackrock Park.
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Cabinteely Park.
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Marlay Park.
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council People’s Park.
  • Fingal County Council Ardgillan Demesne.
  • Fingal County Council Malahide Demesne.
  • Fingal County Council Millennium Park.
  • Fingal County Council Santry Demesne.
  • Fingal County Council Saint Catherine’s Park.
  • Galway City Council Children’s Millennium Park.
  • Kerry County Council Childers Park & Woodlands.
  • Kildare County Council Liffey Linear Park Newbridge.
  • Laois County Council Páirc an Phobail Portlaoise.
  • Laois County Council Peoples Park Portarlington.
  • Limerick Council The Peoples Park Limerick.
  • Longford County Council The Mall.
  • Louth County Council Blackrock Community Park.
  • Louth County Council Ice House Hill Park.
  • Louth County Council Saint Helena Park.
  • Louth County Council Saint Dominic’s Park.
  • Maynooth University/Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth Campus.
  • Mayo County Council Jackie Clarke Collection Heritage Garden.
  • Mayo County Council Turlough Park.
  • NPWS Connemara National Park.
  • NPWS Killarney House and Gardens.
  • NPWS Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park.
  • North Mayo Heritage Centre Enniscoe.
  • Offaly County Council Lloyd Town Park Tullamore.
  • OPW Castletown Demesne.
  • OPW Derrynane Historic Park.
  • OPW Fota Arboretum & Gardens.
  • OPW Garinish Island.
  • OPW Grangegorman Military Cemetery.
  • OPW Irish National War Memorial Gardens.
  • OPW The Iveagh Gardens.
  • OPW The Phoenix Park.
  • OPW Saint Stephen’s Green.
  • South Dublin County Council Corkagh Park.
  • South Dublin County Council Sean Walsh Park.
  • South Dublin County Council Tymon Park.
  • South Dublin County Council Waterstown Park.
  • West Meath County Council Mullingar Town Park.
  • Wexford County Council Pearse Park – New Ross.
  • Wexford County Council The New Ross Library Park.
  • Wicklow County Council Glendalough Cemetery.

Green Heritage Site Accreditation

  • OPW Irish National War Memorial Gardens.

2019 Green Flag Community Awards

  • County Galway: Headford Community Garden.
  • County Galway Headford Community Orchard.
  • County Mayo: Ballina Karen Community Garden.
  • County Mayo: Kilmaine Community Garden.
  • County Meath Julianstown Community Garden.
  • County Roscommon: Knockvicar Organic Garden.

2019 Pollinator Project Award

Overall Winner

  • Malahide Castle Demesne.

Category Winners

  • Town Park – Tymon Park, South Dublin County Council.
  • Country Park/Demesne – Malahide Castle Demesne, Fingal County Council.
  • Walled Garden – The Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden, Ashtown Demesne, Phoenix Park, OPW.
  • Community Award – Headford Community Garden, County Galway.

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