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Your Country Your Call

Monday night I was invited to a meeting in The Guinness Storehouse. Martin McAleese was coming along. So were some of Irelands top blogger people.

Your country your call is the brainchild of Martin McAleese

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….is what I was told. I’d met Martin before. Nice guy. Ferdinand Von Prondzynski was there too – should have asked him  for my old DCU grounds job back 😉 To the point Your Country Your Call is pretty much an ideas generator to get this country grooving again. It’s about motivation. A rousing call maybe [?] but whatever one may say it is a better step in a more positive direction.

It’s not government run. Which I liked. It’s run [?] by ‘some people’ on a pro bono basis. They don’t get PR for it and probably won’t get much thanks… one in particular who I have spoke to is employed by Guinness to work solely on this project.

The big idea is that anyone from any country can come up with a brainwave… 3 lines of text… a youtube video…. however you wish to do so…. one enters it online and [you] could walk away with €100,000. However….

It must be for country benefit rather than individual benefit

Maybe you have an idea that could benefit the country…. maybe you have an idea that cold benefit your local town…. maybe you just have an idea. Maybe it’s been sitting on the back burner with all the rest of of I must do something with that[s].

So where do you go from here…. Well… the website most probably is a great place to start… go take a look. Have a cuppa. Jot down some thoughts and submit them… it is that simple.

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Trim 2025 – the carbon [r]evolution begins

Before you read this – read Trim 2025 to go carbon neutral

In what may have seemed, to some, like an almost niaive scenario to percieve… it now seems that young Martin Tighe literally has started what is now the most enviable vision ever to evolve worldwide and this one from a town in Ireland called Trim. Ladies and gentlemen… The carbon revolution has just begun.

In an all star headline act some spoke of the redemption required to change that same old heads of town events, boards and committees…. and whilst the presence of Noel Dempsey may have attracted some – it was the fine and independent minded speaking of David Mc Williams who stole the show.

That was until the music kicked off….

Whether you are 6, 16 or 106 years old… this really was a day for Trim, in its entirety, to stand tall and to be extremely proud. I’m not talking some group of contrary county councillors seeking to prove their worth to the local papers and a bunch of men in suits holding cardboard cheques… This is close on verging Bono country and it is every piece of energy that a green revolution should be.

One last thing before – the last thing…. where the fork where the green party….?

Martin Tighe, stand up sir and take a bow…. The world is watching.


The one thing I took from this…..? anyone, any person all of the doom and gloom merchants, the nay sayers…. you know who you are and if not, everyone knows at least one……. fork you! It can be done. I listened to young Martin. No older that 30 years old – who took on an entire town… and won’t stop there. I listened to Mc Williams…. stuff the government and stuff you if you are sitting on your arse looking for someone to blame. We know what they can’t do…. but you can. And you can. As a btw… I’m almost 10 years in business. I borrowed the tools for my first job. I’ve never been the recipient of any welfare or grants of any format…. and now Martin who doesn’t even live in Trim…..  and you know what he’s right…. I’ll give him the final word….

Many, many special thanks to all the very kind people I met in Trim.

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quinncentennial park, galway

quinncentennial park galway

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Did you ever want to give a County Council, in this case a parks department, whose wages I and you pay – a good kick up the bottom ?

Two parks in two days in Galway is what I set out to do. That’s what I did.

The other was Claude Toft Park. It shouldn’t really matter what two parks I chose to visit – in my honest opinion this parks department needs a radical reality check. If I maintained that park? It wouldn’t be in that state. Or…… I could be out of a job. The options ‘they’ should be given.

Before ‘anyone’ suggests the economic-hulabuloo ? The evidence, horticulturally, is that this neglect has been evident and growing worse for a long [in years] time. Secondly, I personally go to a park so I don’t have to hear about that sort of stuff.

I paid hard earned money to travel to Galway. I spent money when in Galway. If I was a tourist travelling from abroad – I would not return. And with tourism already down 20% – I am beginning to understand why that might be.

To the park – Whilst the outlay remembles a little bit more of what I would consider ‘a park’, once again – zero available information on the internet regarding this place also.

I wasn’t impressed. At first, my mood lightened when I saw a rock noting that it was ‘developed for the benefit of Galways senior citizens by Digital Equipment International B.V. 1984’. I then looked around. Not impressed. My spirits were lifted again when I came across the central water feature and a Mom with kids and dog playing there [the only people apart from me]. I saw a wee bridge. I then saw the now defunct water feature…What?!! Back to brutal.

I’m guessing in 1984 this park was an absolute stunner and the gesture by the company [I assume], in a 1984 Ireland, Saint-like. As an overview the layout is good and the road less travelled pathways and secluded seating places make it a nice place to spend time, possibly, I’m sure. But as of now the park needs attention. Urgently.

Once again – my second park in two days. And of all of the parks I have ever visited. These have to be two of the worst. These are peoples parks. NOT The County Councils.

Shame on you Galway City Coucil Parks Department. The same Galway City Council that wish to plough a road through Terrylands Peoples Forest?  And by the way, it’s the peoples forest.

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claude toft park, galway

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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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ulster bank… don’t know – do they care?

who am I...?

who am I?

I heard on the radio the European Central Bank rate was cut. All of the Banks are passing it on except Ulster Bank – that is if you are on a variable mortgage. I double doubted myself. Tracker or variable? I could buy some trees… ‘herself’ could get me to put down some skirting boards and hang the doors we don’t have… We’d have a field day and eventually we’d get our home looking like one soon-er….

I emailed my very friendly bank….

First: Is this relevant to landscaping? yes. Relevant to my garden, [they are my personal bank] and also my business bank of 9 years. My mortgages were signed in this branches very office.

Second: If I replied via email to you as my client like this… would ‘you’ be happy with my customer service to you?

From: mailto:info [at] doneganlandscaping [dot] com
Sent: 05 March 2009 16:40
To: (Ulster Bank – Dublin Airport Branch)
Subject: query
Importance: High
A Chara Angela,
Is there any news on Ulster Bank passing on the reduced ECB rate.
Regards
Peter
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Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 8:58 AM
Subject: RE: query
Hi Peter,
Have not been in touch with you lately so hope you are keeping well.
The ECB change will automatically apply to tracker mortgages but no word on the variable yet.
Will let you know if I hear anything.
Regards.
Angela
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Sent: 06 March 2009 09:10
Subject: Re: query
Thanks Angela
I am on the tracker ?
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Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 9:10 AM
Subject: RE: query
Peter if you are on a tracker then you automatically get the reduction.
Angela
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Sent: 06 March 2009 09:19
Subject: Re: query
am I on the tracker?
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Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 9:26 AM
Subject: RE: query
Peter I don’t know and have no way of checking here.
If you look at your mortgage offer.
Angela
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