In the absence of big victories massamann, it's the little victories that count!
Here's a google map/diagram of the RHK grounds showing the location of the various 'enclave' developments around it's perimeter.
Despite the fact that the RHK grounds are nearly twice the size of Stephen's Green, there are only two entrances (marked with green Xs), located at the east and west extremities of the site. The whole northern boundary consists of a planted screen to St.John's Road as a buffer to the dual carriageway here and the Heuston railway yards beyond. Beyond that, a bit to the west, and behind another embankment and boundary wall is the Clancy Quay development.
There is potential for connectivity, but it will require open minds and a full IAP, or LAP, focused on the Royal Hospital grounds to demonstrate where the connections can be made. At the very least, I'd be in favour of punching several holes in the RHK boundary walls to get it into some kind of public use.
As well as just puncturing holes, there is also a case for re-imagining the RHK grounds as two separate amenity resources, one, formal in character, and focused on the Royal Hospital complex and the recreated 17th century clasical gardens in the east, and the other, more informal and archaeological in character, focused on Bullys Acre and the heritage of the Knights Hospitaller's preceptory, the 'Castle House of Kilmainham'
and it's predecessor the Gaelic monastry of St. Maighnan, in the west.
The historic west avenue would still link the two, but the northern boundary and, to a lesser extent, the southern boundary, could be modified to open up the park as a kind of 'town green' as opposed to the 'walled estate' that it is now. The wonderful 'Meadows'
area of Edinburgh is an example of this type of amenity space in the heart of a city, no walls, no railings just undulating parkland criss-crossed by paths and fronted by high quality urban terraces.
In this scenario, a new, one sided, access street could be swept in from St. John's Road West creating a wedge of mixed commerial and cultural development in a triangle bounded by this new curved route to the south, the presently bleak frontage to St. John's Road to the north and the wall of the formal gardens to the east, where a restrained, civic scale, frontage could balance the HSQ mega-development on the opposite side.
A new north/south pedestrian route separating this development wedge from west wall of the the classical gardens would formalise an impressive vista to the Wellington monument, (a real vista that you won't need binoculars, or imagination to see). The new park frontage
street would take all vehicular access to IMMA in from St. John's Road and provide direct access the existing car and bus parking areas, without having to drive around three sides of the 17th century Royal Hospital building, as is the case now.
I know the lawn lovers
will be up in arm again, but there's still loads of grass for everyone.