City Wild: Life Inside Dublin’s Phoenix Park
The Phoenix Park is the largest walled park in Europe: 707 hectares of human, plant and animal life right at the heart of Dublin City. It’s residents range from the President of Ireland, the US ambassador to a herd of wild deer. 40 families live within it’s grounds; most are acting and retired park staff. Some have grown up here and would even like to be buried deep within it’s earth, next to the grazing deer. “park babies”, that’s what they call them, “park people”, the one’s that know and love the park as their own, their stories intertwined. City Wild is about them; they introduce us into the park, their park, from its historical significance and as a resting bed of Irish republicanism, to the cycles of the wild deer herd living in it. These men and women’s lives and stories are intertwined with those of the park: stories of great love and loss and of the ghosts of so many generations that inhabit their lodges, their borrowed homes. In their work, they strain to maintain a delicate balance between keeping the park as a busy public recreational space, as a nature reserve and a heritage site, with the visiting public sometimes their biggest obstacle.