Plans to create ‘dedicated’ dog parks in Enniskillen

COUNCIL officers will report back to local elected representatives in September with more details regarding proposals for dedicated dog parks in Enniskillen and Omagh.
At the monthly meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, members alluded to plans for dogs to be excluded from certain areas owned by the local authority, including play parks, playing pitches and multi-use games areas (MUGAs).
Since being made public, the proposals for the so-called ‘dog exclusion zones’ have already sparked a fierce debate among animal lovers in Fermanagh, including online petitions.
On Thursday night, Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff said it had been “legitimate” for councillors to have raised questions over the plans at a previous meeting of the Environmental Services Committee.
He said, “The council is outlining that a play park should be out of bounds, but when outlining what is out of bounds, we need to explain to the public and provide for the public.”
Mr McElduff said the number of dog owners locally was “quite amazing”.
“What an asset it would be for any town that there would be a dedicated dog park, creatively developed and designed in such a way as to optimise the experience for the dog and the dog owner. This is a dog-loving society,” he said.
Enniskillen councillor, Tommy Maguire, said that elected representatives in the town had lobbied council officers to “redouble their efforts” to find a suitable location for responsible dog owners.
“We don’t sit here introducing draconian laws for people who love their pets,” he said.
The Council’s director of environment, Kevin O’Gara, said that there would be a report coming in September regarding the issues associated with possible options and possible locations for a dog park.
“I welcome some of the comments and any information with relation to dog parks. Certainly staff are looking at that and we will be bringing a report to the September meeting for members’ consideration on the issue,” he added.


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