This Community Garden, named in honour of the late Pat Murphy, founder member of the Larkin Centre and tireless advocate on behalf of the unemployed, is a community led initiative developed to support unemployed men in the North Inner City. Dublin City Council donated a section of the site in the short term under license agreement to the Larkin Centre, the managing agency for the project.
A team effort
The project has brought together a number of local men, who volunteered their time and put their skills and energies to good use and have transformed what was once a derelict site, into an area that now produces a rich array of vegetables. “This is a team effort, everyone of the lads has something to contribute” observed Mick Denver, Site Manager for the project.
Doing something worthwhile
For the men involved, this community garden has opened up another world in their lives and brought about many benefits. As Paul O’Keefe explained ”unemployment does little to make you feel useful or valued, having this project to get involved in makes you feel you are doing something worthwhile, it’s been a life saver for me.” The community garden has given another member of the team Laurence Byrne the chance to develop a new career, “got me thinking, maybe I could do this type of work and earn a living from it. I applied to FAS, through the Larkin Centre, for a place on a Horticulture Course, was accepted and started on the 5th of September last. Ultimately, I want to become a Tree Surgeon.”
Addressing the opening of the Pat Murphy Community Garden, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Andrew Montague, himself a passionate gardener, noted how enriching an experience it can be to grow your own, not only the benefits to the individual in respect of health & wellbeing, but also to the environment. In acknowledging the achievement and hard work of these men he commented that “the task of bringing about this transformation reflects a community wanting things to be better and willing to put in the effort to make it happen.”
The event was well supported by a cross representation of groups and individuals from the local community, an appropriate way to mark the achievement of the garden and the legacy of the late Pat Murphy.