A SHOUT of ‘hip hop hurray’ resounded around Bennett’s Mill Field in Clonakilty last Saturday afternoon following its official opening to the local community.
Rev Kingsley Sutton led the shout for the hard working members of Clonakilty Tidy Towns and other volunteers who worked tirelessly on the eco-project.
The impressive bio-diversity garden on Western Road contains an information board made by Tomás Tuipéar, memorial benches, a community vegetable garden and a gazebo – which was home to the Clonakilty Brass Band – which provided the musical touches for the opening.
Jean Connaughton – daughter of Wesley Bennett who owns the field and who has leased it to Clonakilty Tidy Towns for 50 years – cut the ribbon to officially open Bennett’s Mill Field.
Chair of Clonakilty Tidy Towns, Diarmaid Cregan said this has been by far the largest project the group has ever undertaken.
‘We believe it will be a great asset to the town and we want both locals and visitors to enjoy this wonderful facility and we especially look forward to the local schools coming here to use it as valuable learning resource,’ said Diarmaid.
Rev Sutton said it’s an amazing resource for the town of Clonakilty, which he said was all made possible by volunteers who care about the town.
‘Clonakilty Tidy Towns is a brilliant organisation and anyone can get involved, no matter what age you are and I would encourage anyone to join them,’ said Rev Sutton.
County mayor Gillian Coughlan noted that the people of Clonakilty do ‘sharing’ very well and the culmination of this was this wonderful garden. She paid tribute to project manager Mike Deasy who led the project and brought it forward.
John Loughane from Clonakilty Tidy Towns said that in recent years they saw the need to utilise a green space in the town for biodiversity in a natural setting.
‘This is your amenity now and take care of it and, most of all, enjoy it,’ said John.
Jean Connaughton, who represented the Bennett family, said she was overwhelmed and so proud of the committee who, she said, are hard-working and committed in getting the project to completion.
‘This garden represents the very essence of what a happy community like Clonakilty is,’ said Jean.
Groups that also helped out during the project included Clonakilty Macra na Feirme, Clonakilty Triathlon Club and residents of Clonakilty Lodge centre.