Dear Councilors & TD’s,
It was with incredulity that I read reports in the Irish Times of the destruction of parts of Dalkey Quarry.
The first recorded climbs by the Irish Mountaineering Council were undertaken in the 1940’s. Today the quarry is used almost daily by climbers and the routes range from the very beginner level up to some of the hardest climbs in the country. It is the only quarry that I know of in Ireland with a guidebook of its routes, and a popular crag with foreign climbers due to its easy access from the city. As someone who grew up a few minutes from the Quarry, I regularly climbed the lower grade climbs and my dog even managed to make it up an easy route on one occasion!
Climbers and residents are rightly annoyed that the council therefore decided to destroy parts of these established climbs. An area that is used for climbing is very unlikely to have been unsafe, if it was the climbers would not be using it, so the actions of the council can only be interpreted as a willful act of destruction. John Duignan of the Irish Mountaineering Club was right to call this ‘vandalising the sport’, a sport which DLRCC should be very proud to have in its county. Then again the councils recent record of preserving important sites in the county is dismal – Carlisle Pier for example…
All such destruction must cease, and any further destruction must take place only following a full public consultation with the public and mountaineering groups. I welcome the reports that talks have taken place today between the MCI and council but that should have taken place last week.
The council should publish any correspondence relating to this decision including any complaints received and any internal letters/emails between council employees relating to the plans. The council employee responsible for taking the decision to destroy parts of the quarry must be immediately removed from employment with the council.