Kissing Gates in Dublin: Access to Information on the Environment

In August 2021, I sent a request under the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations to five public bodies:

  • Dublin City Council (DCC)
  • South Dublin County Council (SDCC)
  • Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council (DLR)
  • Fingal County Council (FCC)
  • Office of Public Works (OPW)
  • Waterways Ireland (WI)

AIE Requests are similar in some ways to Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests, but there are crucial differences: while FOI exists under Irish legislation, AIE arises from EU legislation. Therefore, the Irish State is bound by EU obligations in respect of AIE; however, the government of the day can amend FOI legislation, as it has in the past and proposes to do so again. There are also differences in the public bodies which are covered by AIE and FOI, with more bodies subject to the AIE Regulations. On the other hand, FOI legislation may capture more kinds of records held by public bodies, above and beyond environmental information.

I sent the below request to each of the public bodies. The replies and responses I’ve received have been.. diverse.

I am making the following request under Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations.

Please provide information with details of all barriers/gates on pedestrian routes within the [Council/Dublin] area, including: on roads, paths, lanes, at any pedestrian entry and exit points to parks, and at any locations within within parks.

This requested information to be broken down by location and by type of barrier/gate – the requested information to include, but not be limited to:

– ‘Kissing gates’
– Swing gates
– Styles
– A-frames
All other barrier/gate types
– All locations of such barriers/gates

I am requesting the above information be provided in electronic format.

Essentially, I want to find out where and how many kissing gates and other barriers there are within Dublin City and County. It seems such a simple request.

I plan on providing updates in respect of each public body’s response in separate posts here, which will be grouped together under the “kissing gates” tag.

Wish me luck.