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A Garden Story – Fatima’s Geodesic Dome

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A Garden Story – Fatima’s Geodesic Dome

It was back in 2011 when the Rialto community group ‘ Back of the pipes’ first started talking about the empty field. It sat, unused at the end of Reuban Street and in its day had gone from being block E of Fatima Mansions to an empty rubble strewn patch of ground. It had housed everything from containers full of building equipment to a children’s playground, but was now back to holding nothing but weeds and stones.

 

Fast forward 3 years to the recent Flanagan field community garden open day with the Lord Mayor and more than 500 people passing through on a sunny September day and this barren space has been transformed. The rocks have being broken down to provide the stone work dividing the many allotments. Herbs, vegetables and apple tree’s now grow all around.

 

Back in 2011 this all started with a question.” How do we bring are community together?  It seemed the only way to get to know your neighbour was to have children or own a dog” recalls Dougy Hazel a member of Back of the pipes

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Somebody suggested a community garden. Someone else got hold of the keys to the site and things rolled on from there. “We said we’ll stay till we get kicked out, we just kept digging and they never came”.

 

And dig they did. Tons of rubble went, from many feet down. People brought their labour. Mannions, the local building providers brought a digger. Dublin City Council came on board. “People said it wouldn’t work. It would be robbed and vandalized. Nothing like that has ever happened.”

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Over the course of time the site has grown. Land adjacent to the garden has been handed up for use.  With each step forward more and more people became involved and they all carried on digging. Rubble has used to landscape into features, plots laid down.

 

The city’s first geodesic dome was built. It sits now, looking like an alien-landing-craft at the end of the plot. Known as the grow dome it has a system that allows it to harvest water and can grow spices and vegetables all year round. It’s come to act as an eye catching centre, not just for the garden, but for the whole neighbourhood.

 

Now with 3 south central neighbourhood awards under their belt, the garden has become integral to its community. It’s used by homework clubs and after school initiatives, Tuas have people training on the sight. Freshly grown organic food goes out to local people and community groups.

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With every year, Flanagan’s field continues to grow and draw in more people and those people have discovered that you don’t really need a dog or a child to get to know your neighbour

 

The Fountain News first covered this story at its embryonic stages for more click here 

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