Millstreet Town Park
Millstreet Town Park Committee held an emergency meeting on October 13th 2014 to discuss the “Save Millstreet Town Park” article published on the millstreet.ie website on October 12th 2014.
It was agreed that a response be made on behalf of the committee in regard to the matters raised and to place on record the Park’s place in the heart of the community.
The property fondly known to other generations as ‘The Lawn’ forms part of the demesne property acquired by Denis O’ Leary from Lord Muskerry in 1781. The demesne lands remained in the ownership of the MacCarthy O’ Leary family until 1955 when it as acquired by Thomas Horgan.
The Park lands were acquired in August 1956 by the first committee for the provision of a suitable Town Park and recreation grounds for the benefits of the residents of the Parish.
It has been intimated that our committee is basically a GAA club in all but name but this is totally inaccurate. The members of the present committee have faithfully carried on the aspirations of the original committee and are drawn from clubs who utilise the Park e.g. pitch and putt, coursing, camogie, football, hurling, soccer, athletics and includes the members of the public who are totally independent and who have no allegiance to any organisation.
We are greatly indebted to all who have served on this committee – John O’ Keeffe and his late wife Lena, the late William O’ Leary, the late Denis Twomey, the late Cormac Dineen, the late Richard Kiely, the late Neily O’ Leary, the late Tommy O’ Connor, the late John Murphy and the late Brendan Kiely come to mind.
Almost €400,000 has been utilised since the year 2000 towards the preservation and enhancement of the Park specifically tarmacadam footpaths, upgrading of playground, bridge and water features new entrance from Station Road, flowerbed and plantations.
The enhancement of the Park is reflected in the 2014 Tidy Towns Adjudicators’ comments- “The Park is excellently kept and presented; benches, playground, pitches and paths were seen to be in great condition.”
The monies were provided from State grants, generous benefactors, the general public and a 1/3 share of the local lotto. We are indebted to the volunteers who operate the local lotto. In addition to the Park committee, the Community Council received funds which were utilised to purchase the old Boys’ National School and install the wonderful Astro Turf facility. We urge people to continue purchasing local lotto tickets as the proceeds directly benefit many clubs in the community.
We are open to constructive criticism at all times. However, in regard to the criticism of the felling f the Leylandii trees we would point out that they were removed for a number of reasons – safety, a shelter for anti-social behaviour and several had fallen down during the winter storms. The remainder presented a poor appearance as the lowest 12 to 15 feet had no palm.
Permission was sought from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Forest Service on the basis that the trees were top heavy and a danger to the public as they were located close to the pathway used by the general public. Permission was granted after a Department inspection. Permisson was also sought and given by the Board of Management of the Boys’ National School and the Sisters of the Infant Jesus. This area will in time be developed in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
The line of trees which sheltered the car park were removed for safety as they had become a shelter for anti-social behaviour and presented a poor image, again the lowest 12 to 15 feet had no palm.
We had been concerned with the condition of the coursing escape and this was discussed in previous meetings. We are pleased to say that immediate action is being taken to improve the area. The laurel hedging planted in front of the escape will eventually visually improve this area.
The fairways in the pitch and putt area have been excellently maintained. The dry summer and autumn has taken its toll on the greens. This is not unique as many golf clubs have encountered similar projects.
We acknowledge that the high level of activity in the Park will sometimes cause inconvenience to the general public but we try to keep it to a minimum.
We are cognisant of maintaining the Park to its highest standard for the benefit of the community. We urgently request the co-operation of all dog owners to ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead at all times and to collect and remove any faeces to eliminate the scourge of dog fouling which is a serious health risk, especially to children. Sadly, despite signs erected by Cork County Council and our own committee, a small minority of people refuse to comply.
The Park or the ‘Lawn’ is a priceless part of our heritage. Our committee and its predecessors have striven to be a unifying force for good in our community and it is our earnest hope that the Park and its wonderful facilities will continue to be enhanced and available for future generations.
We meet on the first Friday of each month and hold an AGM on a pre-announced date in January to which we always extend a sincere welcome to members of the community.