The late Ed Bowden: A major influence in DCC Parks & Biodiversity

BY Rose Barrett

On April 30 last, the family, friends and colleagues of the late Ed Bowden bid a fond farewell to a man who was described as being proud, “proud of love, life, family and Dublin City Council.”

Resident in Donabate, and formerly from Santry, Ed would have been prouder still to see 100 members of DCC Parks staff standing in line, to form a guard of honour for his journey to his final resting place.

Following his sudden death, Dublin City Council Parks & Biodiversity posted on social media: “His dedication, hard work and talent shines throughout the parks of this area. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with his family, colleagues, friends and friends of the park.

“Safe journey Ed to the ‘Heaven’s Gardens’. You will be missed, never forgotten and your legacies will continue to grow right here in the city that you loved.”

Mick Harford, who has known the late Ed for 39 years through their mutual work roles, said:

“I first met Ed back in 1982, when he started work at St Anne’s Park as a horticultural apprentice for what was then Dublin Corporation.  Over the years our careers progressed, and we both ended up as Senior District Parks Officers. 

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“Ed was my ‘go-to’ person whenever I needed advice on any issues, as I was for him – regular phone calls and coffee occurred!

“Ed was the Head Gardener in the Central Nursery, St Anne’s Park. After he qualified, he was in charge of annually producing over 400,000 seasonal bedding plants, along with shrubs and trees, for the parks throughout the city.

“When he was promoted to District Parks Officer, he moved into the Central Area, based at Blessington Street Basin.

“Ed’s vocation was horticulture and if you walk around the parks and streets between the canals, you can see his fingerprints all over. From Merrion Square, St Patrick’s Park, Mountjoy Square, Chancery Place, St Audiens, Foley Street, Sheriff St, Griffith Park, Harte’s Corner and all the street trees.  

“He always held the welfare of his staff in high regard all through his career, from organising nights at the greyhound track, Christmas parties and many other events. He would discreetly support others, if he could, if there were personal issues. This was not part of his job – just a measure of the man.

“After 41 years’ service, I decided to retire and Ed had planned to retire within the next few years. We were to meet in the next week or so for one of our coffees and a catch-up.”

Mick concluded: “Little did I know we would never chat again. Ed had taken a week off to get his home garden sorted for the summer but tragically, appears to have suffered a no- warning massive heart attack and died on Monday, April 28 last.”

The late Ed is mourned by Arm, parents Joe and Helen, brothers David and Terence, sister Elaine, relatives, friends and colleagues. May he rest in peace, amen.

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