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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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dubh linn garden

Nestled in behind Dublin Castle, just off Dame Street [palace st. to be exact] is one of the finest gardens I have ever entered in my life. You know when you just get that ‘feeling groovy’ kind of a nice feel….? That’s exactly what I got…

Only one problem…. there is little to zero information available on the **garden*** [Not the Castle…. the garden] to be found on the web….?

It drove me a little demented to be quite honest. Mainly as I was so impressed. But I was in luck on my day there. A very kind man on his lunch break who worked in the neighbouring Chester Beatty Library noticed my confusion and explained the cobbled lawns were ‘eels’; the fact that the glass balls are the eyes and that it was based on a celtic mythology design… 😉

It is also [he explained] where the river dodder and the river liffey met – this meeting is what created a black pool – traslated into Irish one gets Dubh Linn. And it is from this that Dublin got its original name. It is also the site upon which the garden sits today.

I didn’t stop my ‘research’ there, I rang the very helpful Margaret Gormley of the OPW. Margaret is an amazing lady that I know from spending too much time in the Phoenix Park making gardens;) Turns out the gardens were designed by a lady called Ana Dolan, who also works with the OPW [I did try to get in touch with Ana…].The plaques that are brimmed with names that I noticed on the walls…they’re the names of all of the people who took part in The Special Olympics; the sculpt being the emblem of. It is also believed that the gardens are approximately 15 years old. [Thank Margaret!]

On the 15th November 2004 the gardens received  The Best Landscaped Open Space Award by The Tidy Towns unit of The Dept of Environment, Heritage & Local Government….

The other amazing fact of note is that the lawn is best viewed from the State apartments or… a helicopter. The lawn doubles as a landing pad for those who can!

If you are planning to visit, The Chester Beatty Library is a must. The coffee shop, The Silk Road Café does ‘real’ really good coffee and cakes and personally I even like the gift shop. Do be careful on planning a day there and ring in advance if you must as it may be closed for official state business.

My 3 pin plug type frustrations aside, the garden is serenity at its finest. Go there. Enjoy! Absolutely amazing.

*if I do receive any further info I will update here

UPDATE 1st July ’09:

I received an email from Denis Mc Carthy of Dublin Castle with this information ‘copied from an OPW publication Dublin Castle Art by Róisín Kennedy.’

** I really do appreciate Denis getting back to me but – Once again it’s a pity it is not available online for the world [wide web] to see [and not in PDF format btw please ‘if’ it is]

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update #2 1st July ’09:

this update comes courtesy of Keith Nolan – as keith explained he eventually goes into that garden – that said the information is amazing. Thanks Keith 😉

Update 2nd July ’09:

and this beautiful overview of the lawns taken by Niamh. Thanks Niamh 😉

dubh-linn-garden courtesy niamh smith

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plants require passports…?

don't hide them in there...?

don't hide them in there...?

it is so very true… One may wonder why but it is in fact very necessary.

So that I don’t bore you to absolute tears – I’m gonna break this post up into two/ three parts. But I’ll try and keep it short and to the point. The first will give you a general gist; there’ll be some links to government articles if you wish to delve a little further and then more info after if you really get into the groove 😆

Back to it and to quote the Department of agriculture [in brief]

The main objective of the European Community (EC) plant health controls is to prevent the movement of quarantine harmful organisms into and throughout the EC.

Not all plants do require however. And this can make it mildly confusing. A full list of plants that do require passports is available here. And a plant passport should appear on the plants tag as per this example:

EC plant passport/IRL/DAFF/ 1234/ wk32 qty1 plant ZP b2
Cotoneaster ‘Hybridus Pendulus’

So what relevance does this have to you the consumer? The point I make is to be careful. Sometimes a too good to be true offer is simply that. It can also be just as good an absolute bargain. But this is legislation. And although it maybe a plant – the legislation [in this case] is there for very good reason.

For example in cases of fireblight – [fireblight wickipedia] the mandatory action is the burning/ destruction and/ or quarantine of all related stock from a nursey and/ or a particular regio/ a certain radius of all plant material within that vacinity. But one could literally lose an entire stock holding in one very quick swoop. What are the options? If you do suspect or detect a case you should contact your department of agriculture.

...but not your plants

...but not your plants

Back to the the plant passport… A plant passport in one simple tag therefore should contain the following information

  • EC plant passport
  • Indication of EC Member State code
  • Indication of responsible official body or its distinguishing code
  • Registration number
  • Individual serial or batch number
  • Botanical name
  • Quantity
  • The distinctive marking ‘ZP’ for the territorial validity of the plant passport, and where appropriate, the name of the protected zone(s) for which the product is qualified
  • The distinctive marking ‘RP’ in case of replacement of a plant passport and, where appropriate, the code of the originally registered producer or importer
  • Where appropriate, the name of the country of origin or consignor country, for third country products

That wasn’t so bad… 🙂

beautiful & guaranteed irish [part 2]

T.J. Tobin, John & myself

T.J. Tobin, John & myself

Before you read this post please read beautiful and guaranteed Irish – part 1[clck here]

Of course part of the reason I went to Limerick was to visit some good great friends. [Pictured left is T.J. and John Donegan [no relation – he was just in the bar that evening and decided to say hello 😉 but that is the Ireland I visited]

I went all of the back roads to see another good friend in Carrigadrohid. It was freezing and the sun was shining – yet Ireland is still so beautiful and we are so fortunate for this beautiful island. I drove around [very much around] the Galtee mountains and came in by the river Lee. It was worth it. I stopped into Doneraile Park for a picnic of sorts [another post for another day – but also free by the way..] and continued on our way to Cork City. I love Cork. I love the city. It is so colourful and energetic.

I got to meet some of the great people of the Cork Open Coffee on the Friday. To all of you who made this week, for me, amazing – go raibh míle maith agaibh. Thank you so much.

I suppose the question I’ve answered now is… that I am glad I took my ‘holdays’ in Ireland. I am so very happy that I kept my euros in this beautiful island of ours. And now I realise that rather than dwell on those who bore and snore me to sleep with their tales of woe and depression [the same goes for that Enda Kenny crapola spiel et cetera… that just keeps on coming…]. But, I at least made and effort to do my bit for Ireland. I am happier knowing that I did 🙂

beautiful & guaranteed irish [part 1]

As I write this post I’m in the beautiful city of Cork [i’m back in work by the time you read it]. I’ve just left Limerick. It is after all my summer holidays 🙂 I [and her indoors] made a concious decision to keep our euros in Ireland this year. I heard the media hype up the recession [every flippin’ day – yawn at this stage] and as soon as they finished they went to the euro/ sterling spiel and the buying of cross border televisions [are you asleep yet….?] That all may be so very correct. But I needed a break and I did it in this so very beautiful country. I am so very happy that I did. I saw the most beautiful towns, met the most wonderful people and not only helped ‘my’ economy – but I had a great time.

I’ve bought books on beautiful landscapes but there are very few as beautiful as those I saw surronding the towns of Kilmallock, Glenbrohane and Kilfinnan. It wasn’t expensive [our first guest house was €35pps – Fitzgeralds 063 98139 by the way]. It wasn’t rip off republic. It was simply beautiful. If you are there make sure and visit Mary Fox in the Kilmallock museum near the 13th Century Dominican Friary [the tour is free but you can make a donation if you wish]. Ireland doesn’t have to be Ferrari’s and flat screens – why can’t it just be beautiful to look at and enjoy. I wonder if this is a news worthy story…. ? [continues tomorrow… click here]