In November 2022, residents moved into newly constructed A Rated apartments in Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary. This beautiful new development on Kickham St, in the heart of Carrick-on-Suir, consists of 13 one, two and three bed apartments. Following receipt of CAS Stage 4 approval, Tuath entered a Design & Build contract with the developer JSF Construction. The Kickham Street apartments are now home to older persons and those with specific disabilities on the council’s waiting list.
During a pre- move in coffee morning our housing and tenant engagement teams spoke to residents about how they would like to get involved in tenant engagement projects once settled into their new homes. Many residents spoke about their keen interest in gardening, which inspired our staff to start work on a resident-led communal garden project. Funding for the garden project was secured through the support of developer JSF construction and the Tuath Housing Community Fund 2022. The Tuath Housing Community Fund was set up in 2020 to assist both residents’ groups involved in the Tuath Housing Tenant Engagement initiative and local community groups who provide support to vulnerable people in communities where Tuath Housing residents live. Over the past three years the fund has supported an array of community led projects around the country.
In March 2023 the design and consultation process for the garden began with residents, staff and a horticulturist from local Clonmel garden centre. Residents chose the theme for the garden as biodiversity with planting that will encourage birds, bees and butterflies to create a natural eco system in the space. It was important as part of the design consultation process that the garden was accessible for residents with planting focused around raised beds and easy to access planters.
On a sunny day in April staff from Tuaths Galway office, Tuaths Green team staff, Kickham Street residents and our advisor from the garden centre set to work on putting the garden design into place. Fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs formed are a large part of the design. Tuaths’ Green Team is a staff-led group focused on being champions for green initiatives across all areas of Tuath – from our head office to the homes of our residents. The Green Team has representatives from all areas of Tuath’s operations to ensure that all areas of the business are considered. This includes New Business and Development, Finance, Corporate Services, Property Services and Housing.
The garden has many seating areas for residents to come and enjoy this shared space with neighbours, but it is also a sunny quite area to come and relax and listen to the chimes. There are two raised beds in the garden that contain tomato plants, carrots and strawberry’s. There is also a herb area with parsley, sage, chives, coriander and a host of other herbs for residents to share. Apple and Pear trees were planted, and which will provide food to bees when in flower but also fruit when they mature. A bird feeder and bird water fountain was put in place to encourage birds into the garden. A wildflower area was also seeded during the planting day to provide food for bees and butterflies.
The garden was officially opened by Cathaoirleach of Carrick on Suir Municipal District Cllr. Kieran Bourke photo exhibition celebrating old photos of the area was also held as part of the official opening of the new communal garden area. Local historian Walter Dunphy also gave a talk to attendees on the local history of the area and spoke about Kickham street. Resident Cora donated a framed photograph for the communal space of Ormond Castle located on the River Suir on the east side of Carrick-on-Suir. Old photos of Carrick on Suir were sourced through the Tipperary Studies Digital Archive and support was also provided through the Sean Healy Memorial Library, Carrick on Suir.
Residents will be able to come and enjoy many days in the garden, which is not only a great way to meet neighbours but also to come and relax for mindfulness and well-being. We wish residents many years of happiness in the communal garden and look forward to seeing the garden grow and mature over time. We would like to thank Bakers Lot residents and neighbours, Tuath staff, JSF Construction, Tipperary County Council, Clonmel Garden centre, Carol Delaney, Sean Healy Memorial Library, Mary Guinan Darmody, Tipperary Studies and local residents Walter Dunphy and Denis Landy.