Andrew McHale (centre) cuts the ribbon at the official opening of the community garden at the Western Care Knock Hub at Kiltimagh Knock United. Also pictured are Aidan Flatley, Michael Drudy, Martin Canny, David Donnelly, Joseph Brennan, Padraig Prendergast and Maireasa Cunningham. Photos: Sinead Mallee

Western Care Knock Hub celebrate opening of new community garden

A SPECIAL community celebration marked the official opening of the Western Care Association Knock Hub's new community garden.

An oasis of calm, where people can reconnect with nature, the garden based on the grounds of local football club Kiltimagh Knock United was buzzing as guests discovered a true gem.

The five service users from Western Care who have worked hard in developing the garden were on hand to cut the tape to declare it officially open.

Andrew McHale, Pádraig Prendergast, David Donnelly, Michael Drudy and Joseph Brennan swapped the gardening gloves and tools as they welcomed guests for an open day that showcased everything that is great about the Hub.

Fr. Richard Gibbons, P.P., Knock, blessed the garden during the ceremony where the late Karen Campbell of Shanaghmoyle, Western Care service user and a much loved member of the local community, as well as deceased club members, were also remembered. A memorial bench has been dedicated in the garden to honour Karen's legacy.

Western Care took up residence at the club two years ago and it has proved to be a hugely successful partnership for both, Aidan Flatley of Western Care told the launch.

The service users and staff, with the support of the community and club volunteers and staff, have turned it into a real home and their work is evident all around the grounds and clubhouse.

Over the last six to eight months attention has been on the garden, which includes a polytunnel, shed, benches made by the service users who have also enjoyed courses run by the ETB, as well as an orchard and plants that are starting to flourish.

Aidan extended thanks to all who have supported the Hub in any way.

Community, he stressed, is very important, and they are very much part of the community in Kiltimagh and Knock but also locally in the village.

Martin Canny, on behalf of Kiltimagh Knock United, said the partnership with the Hub has been tremendous to date and is growing.

He highlighted how many sports buildings lie empty during the day, Monday to Friday, but KK is now a vibrant, living place thanks to the Hub.

“It is a home now,” he said, “and we want to see this continue on into the future.”

The garden is 'fantastic' and he paid credit to the five service users and staff for their incredible work, as well as the club grounds staff and working group, and also the Hare's Corner for their input.

Originally, when the club was designed, the space was to be a remembrance garden, he noted. Now, thanks to the Hub, that has been realised.

The walkway at Kiltimagh Knock United is a facility widely used by the local community and people attending at the grounds during training and games. Follow the signs to discover this latest wonderful addition for yourself.