Sunday 17 December 2017

Pioneering work of town park founders in new book


Credit: Photos by John Tarrant
Credit: Photos by John Tarrant

John Tarrant

THE dream to publish the story of Millstreet Town Park became a successful reality just in time for the festive season on the launch of "Down the Lawn" in Corkery's Bar.

On offer is a fitting tribute to the cherished founding members of the Park back in the 1950's in a publication edited by Sinéad Corkery that's a fascinating chronicle of the ongoing facilities utilised by groups and individuals over the years.

Town Park Chairman William O'Leary applauded all associated with Millstreet Town Park, initiated from a Committee formed in 1955 with a view to acquiring part of the McCarthy O'Leary estate for the people of the town and district.

"As a lad growing up in Millstreet with the friends of my youth, the Park or the lawn as it was known then was where hours became evenings and acquaintances became friends. Of course, there were great battles to be won or lost, be football, hurling, school games and even cricket got a look in", he said.

Central to many organisations and groups from the GAA, camogie, soccer, pitch and putt, athletics and coursing in addition to diverse recreational activity, Millstreet Town Park is shared by young and old.

"Its thanks to some of the stalwarts of Millstreet, with their tremendous vision, that we, the people of Millstreet have one of the sought after amenities right here on our door", said William.

Remembering great associates of The Park, the Chairman paid tribute to the late Willie Neenan, Lena O'Keeffe and Brendan Kiely for their involvement up to recent times.

According to Town Park PRO, Jerry Lehane, the publication is dedication to Brendan Kiely who initiated the concept of a history.

"Last March, Brendan passed away and as he had put so much time, effort and energy into compiling the book, we decided to resurrect the project and get it published in his memory", he said.

Thanks were extended to the support of IRD Duhallow for their backing in addition to the continuous assistance of the public towards the loyal support of a weekly lotto.

Millstreet Town Park is controlled by a dedicated committee drawn from voluntary organisations that continuously work on ongoing improvements.

"Over the years, diverse events have featured there including show jumping, soccer, marquee dancing, hot rod and motor cycle racing, boxing and of course, when the Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in the nearby Green Glens Complex, the Town Park was used as a car park and helicopter pad", said Jerry.

During the launch, presentations were made to Helen Kiely and Sinéad Corkery. Copies of "Down the Lawn, A History of Millstreet Town Park" are available from local shops. Proceeds from the publication go to the Millstreet branch of St. Vincent de Paul.

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