Everyone who knew one of our founding members Ken Doyle never doubted his deep esteem for Nature. He exuded the innate understanding of how living in an urban setting could profit from that connection. And in that sense the word profit has never been more agreeable. He had no doubt that forestry and woodlands are intrinsic to a healthier community.

His frequent grandfatherly excursions to amenities like Howth or Malahide Castle attest to his determination to make Nature a normal part of life. Ken was also deeply interested in how the public could have a stake in land use policy and decisions. That ethos has become a key objective of this Association which he helped create.

And of course it’s impossible to ignore his great fondness for golf which was rooted in well being and a greening of his day to day existence.

Ken was always involved in projects to educate, which was made simpler because of his incredible ability to connect with others. He contributed to policy with the Green Party and was a long-time activist with the Woodland League, in particular the campaign to save our publicly owned forests when they were targeted by the Troika in 2011.

For the past several years Ken also worked on another aspect of public life. This was his remarkable commitment to care for the elderly in the North Dublin Bay area that he knew and loved. A great friend of his from that area, Dublin City Councillor John Lyons, has shared his recollections:

“Can you make it now? Are you sure? I want to introduce to a few people, you’ll enjoy it, they’re great people.” A “Golden Years” Christmas party in a north Dublin hotel at the end of 2015 organised by the Darndale Belcamp Village Centre saw Ken move around the entire room chatting and laughing with so many of the patrons of the Golden Years service that Ken was involved with, a vital community service that provides free home maintenance, local transport and day-care services for the older residents of Darndale and Belcamp. As their local People Before Profit councillor Ken was determined that I connect with as many people as possible.

It was obvious to all there that afternoon how much affection they had for Ken, and how much fun he had with them. When he involved himself in a project or campaign, Ken gave it his all, his enthusiasm, passion and dedication were genuinely inspiring. It is important to say, however, with regard to his work with the elderly of Dublin 17, there was also a raw anger at a political system and class of politician that had impacted and continued to impact negatively upon so many in the area. So there he was in the middle of it helping in the present through his work with the Golden Years service as well as being a dedicated political activist who believed that we could collectively change the world, for the better.

The word betterment sums up the ethos that Ken used to inform his public and private life. He is deeply missed by the family that was the mainspring of his being.

As our organisation builds momentum towards a healthier community blessed with ever better and greener amenities for everyday wellness we shall be putting Ken’s ethos into the heart of Swords.


For Ken Doyle (1951-2017)

Pass into nothingness; but still will keepA bower quiet for us, and a sleepFull of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats