Oughterard oak finds new use in Mayo

As part of Heritage Week, the Co Mayo town of Ballina will unveil its new ‘secret garden’ on Sunday August 26.

The garden boasts a novel Galway connection. Contractors working on the garden heard of a plan to fell a mature Irish oak tree in Oughterard. The tree was likely to be used as fire wood but quick actions saw its transportation to Mayo, where it was cut at West’s saw mills and made into sleepers surrounding raised vegetable beds in the garden.

The garden represents one phase of the ongoing development of the former Provincial Bank building at Pearse Street by the Mayo County Council. The garden will be named after the late Ballina businessman and politician, Jackie Clarke, who amassed a large collection of documents and other items spanning more than 400 years of Irish history.

The collection will go on permanent display later this year at the bank building, however work on the adjoining Victorian walled garden has been completed. To mark National Heritage Week, Mayo County Council will hold an open day at the garden on Sunday afternoon from 2pm to 6pm.

Once solely the preserve of bank managers and their families, the garden will now be open to all. Mayo County Council would like to thank Mr Clarke’s widow, Ann Clarke, for her generosity in donating the collection. The project is supported Failte Ireland and the National Spatial Strategy Gateways and Hubs ERDF grants scheme.

For more information on the Jackie Clarke collection call 089 4551896

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