All posts by enda buckley

Waterford City – Street Garden, Update 1

New Street garden in the heart of Waterford city has transformed and given a new lease of life to a derelict site once earmarked for a major retail and hotel development.

A terrace of beautifully maintained houses owned mainly by elderly residents were purchased as part of the landbank for the potential development but sadly the development company fell victim to the recession.The houses on a section of the site fell into disrepair and following a spate of anti-social behaviour they were demolished by Waterford City Council. Last January, weeds, broken bottles, cans and other litter fought for space on the site.

That was until city-based teacher, Edel Tobin – a woman who never takes no for an answer – came up with the idea of a community garden, developed by the community and for the community with everything from labour, expertise and materials provided at little or no cost.

When asked, the City Council partnered the project, support was given by staff of the internationally renowned Mount Congreve Gardens, unemployed people involved in the Ballybeg Community Garden project a couple of miles away offered their help as did local retailers, craftsmen such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, tillers, amateur gardeners, pensioners, children and artists.

Some items had to be purchased and money had to be raised to facilitate a summer programme of activities and the people of Waterford were not found wanting when they raised €10,000 through a Fundit campaign.

GIY also staunchly supported the project and encouraged the development of a herb garden which was planted and is being cared for by city primary school children.

Over a period of six months the site was transformed. Recycled goods such as lampstands, old tyres and broken tiles were given a new lease of life to enhance the community/entertainment space which was formally opened by President Michael D. Higgins on June 20th last.

New Street garden is now an oasis of tranquility in the city centre, with a huge stage it is a venue for live music, it is an open air cinema, it is a garden, it is a venue for major festivals such as Waterford Spraoi, the Harvest and Imagine festivals, an art space, a learning space and above all, it belongs to the people of Waterford.

New Street Garden has given hope for renewal, it has instilled pride in everyone involved and amazed spectators and it is a constant reminder there is a use for everything and that good can come from adversity.


The cleared site

Volunteers preparing to plant NEWS3951 NEWS3955  painted garden wall

Grange, Co Sligo – Spanish Armada Interpretative Centre, Update 1

Sligo Champion is working with a group from Grange, North Sligo to set up a Spanish Armada Interpretative Centre. The Centre will be be situated in the old courthouse, which has been closed for more than six years and is currently dilapidated.

Read about their progress to date in the below article from the Sligo Champion.

Sligo Champion Get Involved May 13th 2014

St John’s River, Kilbarry, Co Waterford – Area Improvement Project, Update 1

A group of residents from the Kilbarry, Co Waterford area, supported by The Munster Express, have entered the Get Involved competition with a project that aims to improve the St John’s River and the surround area.

Read about their progress in the below articles from The Munster Express.

May6thPart1 May6thPart2

May13thPart1 May13thPart2


June17thPart1 June17thPart2

July8thPart1 July8thPart2

Deadlines for Get Involved Community Initiative Announced

Thirty projects have been chosen by their local newspapers for inclusion in the 2014 Get Involved national competition, which boasts a prize fund of €7,000.

The organisers of Get Involved, NNI Local & Regional and Local Ireland, which together represent 51 weekly titles, have agreed the remaining deadlines for this year’s competition.

July 11th – The first deadline is for the submission of the completed application form, which should detail the local project plan and objectives. Copies of this document are available here.

October 31st – The second deadline is for the final submissions for judging.

Judging will commence on November 13th. Initial judging will be carried out on a desktop basis and the top 10 projects emerging from this process will be subject to site visits by the national judging panel. Site visits will take place on November 26th/27th.

The presentation of awards will take place in Dublin Castle in January 2015. All local projects will be invited to send representatives to this reception, where the winning project and two runner-up projects will be presented with cash awards amounting to a total of €7,000. Each local project will receive a framed certificate recognising their participation in Get Involved 2014.

For further information contact; Enda Buckley at or 086 8112757 or Johnny O’Hanlon at

Prize Fund Boost for Get Involved Community Initiative

The 2014 SEAI Get Involved community initiative launched in April received a massive boost this week following  the decision by organisers, NNI Local and Regional and the Regional Newspapers and Printers Association of Ireland (RNPAI) to provide a €7,000 prize fund for this year’s competition.

The winning entry from each newspaper will be eligible to compete for this valuable prize fund which will consist of a €5,000 bursary for the winning project and 2 x €1,000 bursaries for the two runner-up projects.

Judging for the awards will take place in October/November by the judging panel, chaired by renowned broadcaster/environmentalist Duncan Stewart.

This welcome boost has prompted the organisers to extend the deadline. So if you have ambitions to undertake a sustainable community project please contact your local newspaper editor. For further information go to www.