Cllrs have discussed options for establishing a dog run in Trim’s Porchfields.

Council looking at feasibility of providing a dog run in the Porchfields in Trim

Council has carried out research into dog off-lead areas in parks to assess feasibility

Meath Co Council has agreed to examine the feasibility of providing a dog run in the Porchfields in Trim in response to a motion by Cllr Aisling Dempsey.

Cllr Dempsey said she had been contacted by quite a few people about the issue and that especially since the areas were fenced off for sheep, it had really piqued people's interest.

“People are using it anyway when sheep aren't in it,” she commented and queried what funding streams were available.

“Interestingly the person who got me to put in the motion in the end up after receiving a number of enquiries, was someone who wasn't from Trim and came here to walk her dog in the Porchfields. I thought it was interesting that it is being used far and wide and thought the more things were can get into it without affecting it naturally and historically, the better.”

In its response to her motion the council said it had carried out some research into dog off lead areas in parks to investigate possible steps required.

Initial findings were that surveys with an equal number of dog owners and non-dog owners and broader consultation with the public would be needed to establish demand.

The response also said that members of the public would expect consultation with an animal behaviour expert to identify any issues associated with fenced-off areas.

The amenity would require secure fencing, double gates, water taps, bins, signage, benches and a safe method of weed control. A suitable location would need to be identified with consideration for access and parking.

It was also suggested that by-laws would need to be amended but Cllr Dempsey queried this saying she didn't think it would be necessary. “It would still be the rule that dogs be on a lead but we are saying there is also this extra option,” she said.

Cllr Trevor Golden said the idea had come up before and was something they had been asking for years in the town but wasn't actioned at the time. Now that there are pens and paddocks, he said it was something he felt could be easily adapted and easy to implement.

“The reality is it is happening already. It has been happening since the paddocks went in there. If it is used correctly I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Not everybody has a big back garden and that is why a resource like this should be fully utilised to the maximum for the community and I am happy to support it.”

Cllr Ronan Moore also supported the motion and said that while they all know people should have their dogs on leash, there are people who have walked their dogs in quieter parts of the Porchfields for generations. He said it was a good time to look at it, and the fact that there are enclosures there, and people are using it anyway, he felt now was the time to formally apply it.

Meath Co Council is to report back to members.