THE ONLY things growing at the back of Scanlan Park in Castleconnell last year were thorns and thistles but now lettuces and onions are thriving.
n July 2011 the area between the graveyard and disused sewerage plant had become so overgrown that contactors couldn’t even get in to cut the grass.
Martin Byrnes, chairman of the residents committee met with Chris O’Donnell, a liaison officer with the council, who asked them what they could do.
“We felt the park needed a good clean up and they did. He brought out Jimmy Feane, director of services housing department, and we walked around pointing out what needed to be done. We happened to be walking over where the allotments are now and Eamon Burke always had his own one there.
“We said to Jimmy would it be OK if we put in some more and he said ‘would there be interest’. I said ‘we won’t know until we try’ and he said ‘if ye get the interest by all means go ahead with it’. That’s how they came about,” he explained.
Now there are 21 allotments going strong and every night there are up to 30 locals busily tending their plots.
The residents committee sent out newsletters to the 86 houses in Scanlan Park and got a big response. There are even plans to expand the allotments next year.