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To: Galway City Council, Galway City Councillors

Save The Meadows, Merlin Park Galway

To protect the Merlin Park Meadows from private development on designated public Recreational and Amenity land.

To pursue the protection of the highest designation due to it being an area of International importance due to its high biodiversity and links with the Merlin Park woodland creating a vital habitat for wildlife within the city of Galway.

Why is this important?

Merlin Park meadows has been conserved as a public amenity space for many generations and is a vital green space for the people of Galway. With 84 acres of land already zoned for development within the Merlin Park hospital complex, it will have an adverse impact on the community - once it is gone, it can never be replaced. With the expansion of housing and commercial lands surrounding the area, it is a healthy environment for the ever increasing population who depend on it as an escape from polluted environments, a place for mental relaxation and physical activity. Along with the Merlin Park Woods it is the only known habitat in the city where Red Squirrel are thriving and sightings from other areas of the city are of roadkill. It is home to thousands of mammals and wildlife species such as butterflies, bumblebees and dragonflies providing a safe haven for them with huge declines in the number of these species and many threatened species in recent years. It is home to a variety of Orchids and wildflowers similar to the protected Burren in Co Clare. This is a very unique meadow within the city of Galway and is totally natural. Galway has been awarded the European Green Leaf Award for 2017, to allow development on public land and destroy this meadow would totally go against this.



2019-02-05 13:25:18 +0000

AN Bord Pleanála refuse permission for the development of the Galway Hospice on the meadows and woodlands of Merlin Park Woods
Good news for people and wildlife ...

2018-11-22 16:30:17 +0000

Update An Oral Hearing on appeals against the permission for development of Galway Hospice on the meadows and woodlands of Merlin Park will take place on Dec 4th at 10am in The Connaught Hotel Dublin Rd Galway . Open to the Public. Friends of Merlin Woods ,An Taisce and others will put forward their case on why planning should not have been approved for this high biodiversity Annex 1 habitat and wildlife sanctuary.

2018-08-21 16:55:42 +0100

Planning has been approved by Galway City Council for the development of the Galway Hospice on the meadows of Merlin Woods which will mean 14 acres of land will be sold with 6.7acres to be developed , we are very disappointed with the news and we will keep you updated on our next steps ...

2018-07-13 16:26:48 +0100

Submissions on the development plan for the new Galway Hospice must be made by the 30th July 2018 ,plans can be seen here Planning Application Number 18/208
We encourage all to make a submission on the development and its negative impact to the woodland habitats and meadow area.It's impact on public land used by the local community . The effects to the health of all by encroaching on green spaces .

2018-06-21 12:44:10 +0100

Our piece in the local Galway Advertiser this week on why the meadows should be saved

2018-06-21 12:39:28 +0100

Hi Everyone ,planning application will be lodged for the new Hospice this week ,it is sad to see that this area is still under threat despite our efforts to inform . Unfortunately those who seek to develop it ,don't seem to care how a large development will impact on this sensitive environmental area,we still maintain this could be built within the hospital grounds 84 acres available

2018-02-14 18:14:44 +0000

Just an update on what stage we are now ... We have seen pre-planning works going on recently so it may not be long till we have a planning notice going up . We have also had to stop another plan to put a Bus Corridor through the Merlin Woods again and because it affected a residential area also ,lots of people stepped up and thankfully this looks like it has been stopped but we wont rest easy till it is out of the City Development Plan . You can find out more by visiting :

2017-10-07 20:44:23 +0100

Merlin Woods meadows under threat even more than we thought !!
City council officials attempted a land swap beside the meadows which is been sold for new cemetery , now more than ever we need all of our woodland habitats protected , a shocking development from the European Green Leaf city winners.

2017-06-18 12:49:33 +0100

The tender process for design of the new facility on the meadows has started . We had hoped that those involved would have looked to other areas of the 85 acres of CF Zoned land available to build on within the hospital complex so our community recreational land and high biodiversity meadowland would not be destroyed ,unfortunately that has not happened .Our fight continues !!

2017-03-13 02:19:14 +0000

A recent article from the Irish Times on the European Green Leaf status for Galway City and how the proposed destruction of the meadows and other green areas would totally contradict this award

2016-12-02 15:50:59 +0000

On Thurs 1st Dec 13 members of Galway City Councillors voted to rezone for specific development our meadow land which is Recreational and Amenity Land , Only 5 our Cllrs voted to preserve this important habitat for its local communties and its wildlife . The actions of those Councillors who voted to rezone is a sad reflection of a city that holds the European Green Leaf for 2017 and the European Capital of Culture for 2020 . This is only the beginnings of our campaign to #SavetheMeadows and we hope that we will have your continued support into the next stage.

2016-11-07 19:03:43 +0000

2016-09-21 16:48:40 +0100

For approx four years Friends of Merlin Woods have fought to save Merlin Park Woods and its meadows. This has been an ongoing process. In Feb 2014 , stopping a bus corridor/road by getting our local Councillors to vote unanimously to remove it from the development plan included in that decision was to look for further protection as an SAC, SPA or NHA . Ensure that this important area for local communities was preserved for people but also preserved for the wildlife such as the Red Squirrel , foxes , rabbits , butterflies, bumblebees Orchids and much more. By further fragmentation between the woodlands and the meadows , we risk losing more species and maybe eradicating them completely over time. Increasing development surrounding will have a negative effect if this land is destroyed with an increase in population set to grow to approx 60,000 people trying to use less green space

2016-09-14 11:03:47 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-09-14 00:34:08 +0100

On July 7th Galway City Councillors approved future construction on community land, by majority of 11 votes to 6 votes with one Cllr absent. Friends of Merlin Woods were and are still fully opposed to construction on this land. Merlin Park Woods with its meadowlands are the oldest, largest and most bio diverse ancient limestone woodland in Galway City, equatable to the Burren. Friends of Merlin Woods is not opposed to the construction of a hospice, however such a construction on this sensitive annex location would be a major loss to the community, the City of Galway and at a National and International level an important habitat and an important environmental area.