A garden for all the community

Posted on: 3rd November, 2015

Category: Highlights

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Clonakilty Community Garden is inviting members of the local community to join the project on Saturday mornings at 11am. Located on a piece of land in front of Clonakilty Lodge, the garden was set up by volunteers in 2014, with the support of the local Lions’ Club, to encourage and to learn about growing organic food and to provide a common and independent space for the integration of the diverse community in Clonakilty.

“It started off as a project to help the asylum seekers in Clonakilty who are in a state of enforced idleness,” explains Olive Walsh, a Family Support Worker with Clonakilty Friends of the Asylum Seekers. “But it has become so much more. It’s a garden for all of the community and we’d like to encourage any individual or group interested in getting involved to please make contact or just call up to the garden any Saturday morning.

Clon com garden 2

With collaboration between the Community Garden and Clonakilty GIY, the project is now really moving forward. ‘We received a grant of €2,500 under the AIB/GIY Get Ireland Growing Fund but were lacking in gardening expertise and the Clonakilty GIY group had received a €500 grant but didn’t have the land so it seemed logical to join forces,” says Olive. “And it’s great fun working together.”

Cope Foundation, which supports the lives of adults with intellectual disability by providing a wide variety of activities, has recently engaged with the community garden project. A small group has been weeding, watering and painting wooden planting tubs. “I enjoy getting out in the fresh air,” says Margaret, one of the participants from Cope.

With the help of GIY Clonakilty a biodigester to speed up the composting process has now been built, construction of a shed has almost reached completion, raised beds are built and ready for planting up, fences have been erected and a number of fruit trees and bushes planted.

“We’ll be planting veg soon, we’d like to eventually build a greenhouse or small polytunnel and in November we hope to hold an event to mark the collaboration with GIY Clonakilty,” says Olive.

photos: Alison Glennie   Tommy, Kate and Margaret

photos: Alison Glennie
Tommy, Kate and Margaret

“It’s meant so much to the asylum seekers,” explains Olive. “Not only will the veg grown provide organic food and nutrition that’s not in the budget at the Lodge — it’s a shared goal in an outside space. One woman commented how ‘it is just so good to get out and build up a sweat doing a hard day’s work. And the kids love it — climbing up on piles of manure and filling wheelbarrows. Many of the African people at the Lodge come from farming communities and this type of activity, working the soil, helps them to feel closer to home.”

Going forward, GIY Clonakilty hopes to hold free workshops and demonstrations every three months at the community garden.

The Community Garden is appealing for donations of garden tools, ie wheel barrow, shovels, forks, hand tools, water butts and timber for building garden structures. Windows in good condition would be useful too for the greenhouse.

For more information on upcoming events find GIY Clonakilty and Clonakilty Community Garden on facebook.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

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