It has been planned and plotted over a period of time but finally yesterday saw the official opening of the new public allotments in Letterkenny.
The site just below the Pastoral Centre on Lower Ard O’Donnell was cleared by the Probation service under the guise of Paidin Kavanagh and work was subsequently carried out by town gardener David Donnelly and his team.
Local residents were consulted before the Pastoral Centre leased the site to Letterkenny Town Council.
It features twelve plots which were the subject of a public draw for allocation purposes. A total of twenty-five individuals had originally applied and the remaining names will now be deployed on a first substitute basis.
Performing the official opening of the allotments, Town Mayor, councillor Tadhg Culbert described them as being of a “great therapeutic value” to all involved.
“It’s a very worthwhile venture and hopefully people will toil here and enjoy the experience of working on their plots.” He thanked the Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, and the Pastoral Centre for the gift of the land required.
Bishop Boyce, who stated they were delighted to be able to provide the field, performed a blessing of the plots in conjunction with Rev. Stewart Wright.
Speaking afterwards, the town gardener said work had commenced on the site at the end of February once it had been cleared. “We worked with a budget of 5,000 euro and managed to keep within it,” said Mr. Donnelly.
Local councillor, Jimmy Kavanagh, who originally proposed the idea through a motion at Town Council level, paid tribute to the residents for agreeing to the siting of the scheme at the Pastoral Centre. “We drew up a plan to utilise the space that was here,” he indicated.
Yesterday’s proceedings were chaired by Town Engineer, John McCarron, who said he was delighted that the work had started on the project.
Newly elected Senator, Jimmy Harte, was among the attendance which also included councillors, Dessie Larkin, Ian McGarvey and Tom Crossan.
Mayor Culbert planted a cherry tree which forms the centre-piece of the allotments.