Friends Community Garden Day a huge success

refugee garden 2

Posted on: 7th July, 2014

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

Dear Gardening Friends,

What a gathering we had on Saturday, June 14 to launch our new Friends Community Garden. The sun shone for us and we were joined by many gardeners from the community who turned up with plants, tools, compost, garden art and loads of enthusiasm and know how. We set about dividing the fenced off area into plots; one for each family who would like to grow their own veg. By the end of the day, with a lot of hard but joyful work, the bare plot was transformed into an ordered allotment. The children had great fun making garden art, painting faces, splashing around with the water and playing in the dirt. In the days since, it has been a great pleasure to see our friends pottering around in their garden, teaching the children about growing and enjoying the sunshine. Their hard work and commitment is inspirational. Phase two will be to make a safe fenced off area for the small children to play while their parents work in the garden.

On behalf of everyone involved, I would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to you all. Life for asylum seekers living in direct provision can be very difficult. Your support means so much. We hope our Friends Community Garden can be a place where the families living at the Clonakilty Lodge Direct Provision Centre can welcome the wider community and we can support and learn from each other. If you missed out on the great day, don’t worry there will be many opportunities to get involved. We plan to have an informal drop in on Saturday mornings from 11am. Members of the Clonakilty GIY group will be popping in and you would be very welcome to join us. Do drop by and say hello.

This project has come about through the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Clonakilty Lions Club and a very special thank you has to go to John Loughnan and Marie O Keeffe who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to source materials and support for our projects. Thank you also to Sean Ahern who has kindly donated the plot, Padraig Sheehy for the truckload of compost and tools, Tossie Hayes who is to give us a shed, Michael McCarthy of Carbery Plastics for the water tank and the use of his roof to collect rainwater, GIY for the continuing support and each and every person who donated plants, tools, toil, goodwill and time.

Happy days. Where would you get it? In this town!

Thank you Clonakilty.


Olive from The Clonakilty Friends of Asylum Seekers.

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Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

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