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Village Park, Kilbrittain, Co. Cork


I was away camping (the very best way to see the great, outdoors of this very beautiful island of Ireland) in Cork with old Kildalton Horticultural College mate Finbarr O’Mahony. His business, The West Cork Secret is based in Kilbrittain and, though it’s no surprise that I’d never heard of or seen the Village Park before, this little gem is more than well worth a visit.

Some purists of the botanical latin may suggest that I should see, or at least be here noting recreational spaces differently, considering I guess and rightly so the larger gardens and spaces I have designed and built. But life needs variety and also places that will make a 5-year-old princess giggle and, ask questions. And no, it is not a very long dinosaur.

To its credit the whale story is one of community and in my head at the very least, I would love to have been at that community council town meeting when that suggestion cropped up.

Mamals of the marine slightly aside, the sign just inside the gate (see image above top) is without question the finest park sign I have ever seen. Ever, ever, ever.

And though I have no idea who Jack Kelly is, I do love it that someone stood up and chose again not to do the usual; and in this case not dedicate the stone to the usual of some hip hop star politician (genuinely no offence to any; it’s more very simply that the Kilbrittain way is just not the usual done thing. And again, it made me smile.) who invariably takes all the glory for a space they had nothing really to do with; and more a space they will most probably never do pretend falling over in (something I do when wee smElla falls over to make her giggle instead of cry), or just visit on a regular basis.

Of note for families, we spent about 3 hours here with a picnic and walking. The playground is separated into 2 areas, one for taller children and one for the smallies. It even has a zip wire. And though reported to be a Laois man, the castle in the distance conjured up stories of Fionn MacCumhaill and the Slí na Sláinte walk very much enjoyed. The latter in mind, and as per usual we went looking for faeries (but not, the little people… darn tricksters) underneath the flowers, though we daren’t pick any. We even got to chat to the cows in the neighbouring field. All in all, we loved every single second of it.

Higher than highly recommended. Very, very well done Kilbrittain.

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