claude toft park, galway



This has to be one of the most unusual ‘parks’ I have ever been to in my life. ‘An open area of ground with some facilities’, maybe.

On one side buildings, on the other the coastline  – in the middle, as if planning suggested all buildings be kept a minimum distance from the water – then later decided to call ‘that bit’ a park…. an almost landing strip was turned to lawn. Before I go any further – The Yuccas, phormiums and some other plants en mass did look well. Also I did see litter pickers out which was nice, but I only saw one litter bin.

I wasn’t impressed. There is little to zero information on the park courtesy of Galway City Council. Wikipedia for example tells me Claude Toft was a former Lord Mayor of Galway. The planting on the roadside/ walkways is of osmanthus [prickly] and cortaderia pampas grasses, a plant that could razor the hand of you. It is of course ground covered with pebble that overspills onto the ground and from my parks experience… pebbles and main roads don’t work so well.

The car park was poor; The play area [although commendable] looked very much the after-thought; The grey stone end nearer the city looked very out of place and contained only 3 picnic benches – but then when I loooked at it from the angle of the new buildings behind…. it fitted perfect?; The boundary between the residential areas was in parts like a dumping grounds – It simply wasn’t very well maintained at all and aesthetically poor. Put all of that together and then try and find any information on the internet? Not impressed. More than that children would find it extremely hard to kick a ball here – even if the grass was cut.

Shame on you Galway City Coucil Parks Department. The same Galway City Council that wish to plough a road through Terrylands Peoples Forest?  The peoples forest. The people think its a bad idea.

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7 replies
  1. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    no public toilets – but if they let this park go one more season…. at that rate of growth we’re having at the moment…. that’s exactly where this park will be 😯 but then look at ayre square…. and that has toilets.

    A redevelopment work of the square began in 2004. There was some controversy when it was reported that the building contractors had left the site and were not returning. The square reopened on 13th April 2006 after costing 9.6 million to finish, way over original budget. [taken from here]

    and from the Sunday Business Post entitled Eyre Square Fails To Shine
    As to the choice of materials, nothing stains as quickly as limestone and decking is so yesterday’s news. In the absence of a millionaire benefactor to write a cheque so they can dig it up and start again, what could transform the square is imaginative planting. Through summer months colourful floral displays are a feature in towns and cities across Ireland; not in Eyre Square.
    I stand by my original closing paragraph.
    awarded or not.

  2. David Quaid (SEO)
    David Quaid (SEO) says:

    It’s such a poor effort – for any City – but it’s a bit of a shame that Galway of all places went for something so basic and mundane.

    I agree with you about the razor sharp leaves, the singular bin (like help people to help keep it clean) and the tones next to the main road. Very dissappointing.

    If I was cynical – I’d nearly suggest that this site was designed for easy but expensive maintenance (topping up stones, cutting the lawn, cleaning)…

  3. Barry Toft
    Barry Toft says:

    Sad to say Claude, I’m nearly sure, was my Father’s Uncle, or cousin – you know one of these relatives you hear about from your parents all your youth but have onlt met as a child possibly once or twice. From stories told I’m led to believe that Claude was Lord Mayor and owned a vast amount of sea front property in Salt Hill. Embarassed to say I, and I’m sure most of my relatives in Dublin, didn’t even know that a park, no matter how sad, was named after him. Glad he got some recognition as I believe he was a nice guy!!!!


  4. lesley was toft
    lesley was toft says:

    your lucky barry, claude toft was my fathers brother and i never met him. his brother was ken toft world war 11 the great escape,the book by paul brickhill the film by united artist. no monument or park in his memory !and he was a nice guy also a very brave and courageous man.

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