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coultry park, dublin

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I wouldn’t guess too many know about this park. In fact I’d say very few. I never knew about it up until recently. But I’m glad I did take the time to visit it.

Located in between the new and old Ballymun…. the stark contrast is to be admired. In fact it is to be applauded. Because what I saw was the fact that for the first time in my life a park was built before a building development was finished. The park still has a bit, on the peripherals to go, but its really good. I like it!

What was much more admirable was the little plaques at the base of so many trees. They acknowledged a group or an organisation who donated money and paid for that tree to go into the park.

This is important. Because now a new park is about the people. It tells a story. It has a reason and a meaning, personal to those who will frequent it.

Ballymun regeneration, the people who live there and Dublin City Council for so many reasons will have got this park spot on when it’s fully complete in so many ways.

I’m gonna give this park 3/5 – only because it’s got a bit of finshing to go. That said I would strongly recommend you go here. Visit it. Take your time. Sit on a grass mound and let life pass you by.

What I found most unusual about this place when I went there…. There was about 12 teenagers sitting around talking and 3 kids with their parents in the playground. Not an inch of litter to be seen. Some people associate parks with an older age group… Nice to see re-generation getting a double meaning. 😉

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rediscover [y] ing ballymun….

when one thinks of a town in North Dublin called Ballymun, it’s maybe not so usual that ‘recycling’ would be the associated word that would first come to mind. Surpringly, possibly – it should be.

As I walked around it was amazing to see the old Ballymn versus the new. The contrast, infallable. The new architecture genius, but different. even the little areas outside the new houses, the attention to the little things, the bin covers, the plaques at the base of the street trees, their involvement in the tidy towns competition…. I’m so happy I took the time to walk around. It was an honour.

I had gone there initially for very different reasons.I had heard about a recycling gig that was going on. I got a contact number, from a contact. I had heard about the rediscovery centre….?  I’d heard it was the greenest of them all…..  I wanted to find out more…

I went there to meet Dr Sarah Miller to find out just how green the rediscovery centre in Ballymun was. What I expected being quite honest was maybe another government scheme that because a bag of cash had been thrown at an issue, it would ensure no eyes raised in the minutes of state meetings…..

What I got and what I saw was inspiring, brilliant and quite honestly a little touch of genius. Isn’t it amazing what happens when the person at the top of the classroom gives eqaul effort from the both heart and brain.

and just in case….. remeber Sarah talking about the fashion gig that they do…? Here’s the short film that aired at Electric Picnic in 2008 showing the results of their first fashion show…. Prepare to be blown away!

If you are looking to find out more or just wish to say you like what it is they do… 😉

email: info [at] rediscoverycentre [dot] ie

The Rediscovery Centre,
c/o Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.,
Civic Centre,
Main St,
Ballymun.

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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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