Millstreet Town Park

17th November 2014

Over the past few months Millstreet Town Park Committee have come under unrelenting ill-considered and intemperate criticisms regarding our management of the Town Park in the local media.
We refer specifically to the criticisms of Mr.Matt Murphy.For the record we enclose a copy of the Town Parks response to his letter of the 29/09/2013 wherein we advised Mr.Murphy of an alternative walk to mitigate any short term inconvenience to the general public.
We are not legislators,as of now coursing is a legal activity governed by conditions imposed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and also comes under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture.
If Mr. Murphy or indeed the Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports or the Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland have issues regarding coursing then surely the correct procedure would be to petition the legislators in Dail Eireann for a change in the legislation.
We have particular difficulty with Mr. Murphy’s criticism and the inconsistencies contained in his various letters.
In his letter of 29/09/2013 his concluding paragraph acknowledged the good work done in the Park over the years by the committee and stated that it is a wonderful facility and greatly appreciated.
In his letter of 12/10/2014 he writes of the contempt that he says that our committee has for the people of Millstreet and that the committee is basically a GAA Club in all but name which contentions we totally and emphatically refute.
In his letter of 15/10/2014 he then acknowledges the time and effort that our committee have given to our community over the years. However, it is noted that he is quoted in the Corkman of 13/11/2014  that he has general issues with the Town Park in addition to coursing.
Our committee is made up of people who give unselfishly of their time to enhance the facilities of the Town Park. The amenities in the Park and their constant utilisation speak volumes. Furthermore, several of our members are involved in the operation of the Local Lotto, the proceeds of which benefit the Park and other clubs in our community. ,
Our members were particularly dismayed and saddened by Mr. Murphy’s call in his letter of 12/10/2014 telling the public to stop buying Local Lotto tickets and note that he has made no attempt to retract this admonition. Even at this late stage, a change of heart by Mr. Murphy regarding the Lotto tickets would be a very welcome gesture. Finally, any reduction in the finances available either from the locality or State funding will have serious consequences for the future of the Town Park.
Millstreet Tidy Town Committee


Letter Matt Murphy

6 thoughts on “Millstreet Town Park”

  1. This man is from another era.
    This being the Jurassic.
    What kind of a **** gets up in arms about a town park that has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade?
    Shall we go back to the days of barbed wire fence and the smell of urine emanating from the dressing rooms just to keep this these clowns happy?
    Get off your high horse Mr Murphy.

  2. As the admin here, i’ve gotten annoyed with the mud slinging that has begun. We can well do without it.

    Some may say that (and the admins) are partly to blame for making an issue out of this, but we only try our best only provide a platform to inform and to give people a voice.

    So here’s what has transpired in the last few weeks…

    Initially we provided the platform for Matt to voice his concerns about the trees and the direction the Town Park was taking (oct 12th), after his concerns appeared to fall on deaf ears previously. In my opinion he had some good points, and some bad points, (but i was most annoyed about telling people to not to buy the local lotto tickets).

    In response he received good comments and bad comments. The following days saw many people go and see what all the commotion was about. most I talked to were not happy the trees had been removed, and thought he went a bit far with his comments on the GAA. But in no time the lights on the walking track around the park were fixed, the coursing escape was cleaned up.

    Matt’s letter and the response from the Town Park Committee were read 6,000 times in the first week. People were interested in it, because what happens to the Town Park affects everyone. That people were interested implied that they had a connection to the Town Park – that could only be a good thing.

    And after a few days the matter rested or so we thought…

    but on November 3rd out of nowhere, we at started getting dozens of hate mail from anti coursing people around the country and the world … some of it not for the faint hearted … so i informed the Town Park Committee what was happening (no response).
    It continued in the background, and the message from the anti coursing groups grew louder and louder on social networks ( i was hoping my delete button wouldn’t break )
    I was trying to figure out why they chose to pick on Millstreet from 90 coursing venues around the country, and the response from the anti coursing group was that numerous people had contacted them from Millstreet @@.

    To give an idea of what was on the horizon for locals, i added a link to one of the anti coursing in Millstreet articles to facebook to inform people of what was being said about Millstreet on the outside (it would be remiss of me not to). There was a bit of a discussion with different views and that was that, no big deal.

    Then the anti coursing group attempted to contact the media all over the country to raise the profile of the anti coursing in Millstreet by contacting all the radio stations and newspapers they could think of. C103 bit, and there was a one sided debate on Patricia Messenger’s show with a representative from the anti coursing group and no representative from Millstreet Town Park [listen here].

    So i guess the Corkman took up the story from there which led to page 12 in this week’s Corkman with an piece from the anti coursing group, and piece from the Millstreet Coursing Club.

    … but the Corkman in their wisdom decided to place a third article to unbalance things this time it was essentially choice extracts from Matt’s original letter on to suit how Maria Herlihy the editor of the piece wanted to put across the piece.

    what was initially a complaint about the felling of trees, the closing of the park in winter, and how the Town Park was being developed, had somehow now become intertwined with an anti coursing lobby. nightmare stuff and it should have never been allowed happen.
    The pro and con articles in the Corkman will always happen. It’s an emotive issue, and creates readers. Each side had their say, and that’s fair enough. To hide from it would be akin to admitting guilt.

    We could have done without the piece on Matt’s views in the Corkman (even though it contained nothing new of any substance), as we could have done without the letter from the Town Park Committee today here which took the opportunity to directed its ire at Matt in the wake of last thursday’s Corkman.

    Meanwhile, the anti coursing lobby show no sign of relenting across social networks. My hope is that they get bored and move their focus onto some other poor unsuspectings. we’ll see.

    Come on … we live in a small community where everyone knows mostly everyone else.
    We all know that coursing will go on in town until it is possibly banned nationwide. Some love it, some don’t care, and some despise it. That’s just the way it is. If someone wants to change the direction of the Town Park, go to the meetings, get on the committee, and influence from there. We all have to find a way to accomodate each others differing views, to listen to each other, and to work together … because it’s too small a place to live otherwise.

    … and somewhere way back this all started with a petition that seems to have been essentially ignored 🙁

  3. Well said michael.
    What upset me, was matts attempt to sabotage the funds of the town park by encouraging people to not buy tickets.
    The coursing debate is really another issue but nobody should so publicly
    denounce such a great park and peoples attempts to improve it.
    Yes, some trees met their doom, but visually, they were no loss (in my opinion)
    All these trees contributed, was to hold hostage to a million golf balls and a few thousand beer bottles.
    We are getting a hurling alley which in my opinion is a huge step forward.
    some sacrifice is needed but in this case, the benefits are massive.
    Still is a beautiful park and long may we as Millstreet patrons enjoy it.
    Matt Murphy included.

  4. In response to letter from Town Park Committee on 17 Nov.
    I was sorry to hear that the site was being used as a conduit by the anti-blood-sports campaigners. I’d just like to make it clear that I have no involvement with any such campaigns , be it on-line or offline.( Other than signing their petition to ban blood-sports).
    I see no inconsistency in praising positive elements of the park, of which there are many, while at the same time highlighting negative aspects. Few things in life are black and white.
    I’m sure that very few people will blindly follow my plea to ‘stop buying lotto tickets’. Instead they will make up their own minds as to whether the funds raised from the lotto are being used for the good of all the community.
    As was suggested previously, it would be helpful if the Committee would in future years publish its proposed plans 6 months in advance to give all of us a chance to review them before final decisions are made to our Town Park. Then we could buy lotto tickets with confidence.
    I would urge everybody to read the Rule Book of the Town Park. It clearly states that it is there to be used for a wide variety of sporting ,cultural and recreational activities. The two steel GAA football logos welded to the park entrance don’t reflect this aspiration.

  5. This all started with the trees, now were looking at the gates. Next time your down the park take a good look at those gates,they were actually donated to the people of millstreet by two great millstreet people Tommy and John Radley free of charge. They could have put a Radley engineering sign on them,but they choose to put what they remembered about the park.The stainless steel gates may offend some people but one question for you.Can we afford to look a gift horse like that in the mouth?

  6. Hi Denis, I don’t know whose idea it was to put the football logo on the gates (and I’m certainly not criticizing the donors in any way) but it does give the impression you are entering a GAA pitch. You’re not. You’re entering the Town Park. Your park, my park and everybody else in Millstreet.
    A picture of the same logo appears on the back cover of the promotional book “Down the Lawn” , again giving the impression of GAA ownership of the park. That was certainly intentional.
    In my opinion a more fitting fixture would be a plaque with the simple paragraph taken from the Rule Book which states
    “The purpose of the park is to provide recreation grounds for the people of Millstreet , playgrounds for the young and an arena for various recreational ,cultural and sporting fixtures”. It would be honoring the original intentions of the founders of the park while making it clear that everyone is welcome …ball or no ball.

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