Wild flower garden accidentally doused with weed killer
A painstakingly created wild flower and herb garden was destroyed after contractors mistakenly doused it with weed killer in Cork.
Cork County Council has apologised to the residents of Ard Mhuilinn estate in Mitchelstown after the lovingly planted and tended garden was virtually destroyed.
Residents were appalled when they noticed that shrubs and flowers in the garden - planted as part of a major environmental enhancement programme aimed at boosting Mitchelstown's ranking in the national 'Tidy Towns' competition - were starting to die.
It emerged that council contractors, who presumed that the plantings were simply weeds, doused the area with chemical weed killers.
The plantings included jasmine, chives, strawberries, lavender, buttercups and oregano.
Children were involved in the herb and wild flower garden concept as a way of engaging them in their local environment.
Mitchelstown firms had also backed the garden. Other estates in the area were also planning to develop their own wild flower settings.
Resident Amanda Donegan admitted those involved in the garden were shocked by what happened. "It is devastating," she said. "It is destroyed."
Locals pointed out that insult was added to injury by the fact that, having mistakenly sprayed the wild flowers with weed killer, the contractors then forgot to spray local kerbs which were left spotted with weeds.
Council officials stressed that the contractors did not realise it was a wild flower garden. It is understood that the council work sheets had not received any notification of the wild flower garden or its location.
Fermoy Municipal District Officer Pauline Moriarty said steps would be taken to completely replace the facility.
"(The council) regrets any inconvenience caused to residents," she said. "We will liaise with the residents and ensure that the area is reinstated."
Local newspaper 'The Avondhu' said residents were deeply proud of the garden and, in particular, the contribution of youngsters to its creation.