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Community garden dedicated to much loved teenager given new lease of life

newtown comm association

A Co. Armagh memorial garden, dedicated to a local teenager who sadly passed away, has been given a new lease of life.

The garden, in the centre of Newtownhamilton is a fitting tribute to a much-loved and missed member of the community.

In 2006, the Newtownhamilton Community Association secured funding to transform a neglected yard situated to the rear the community centre.

The development became more significant to all involved when in September of that year Joanne Gibney, daughter of the Community Association’s Chairperson, sadly passed away at the age of 14.

Joanne’s passing was a great loss to her family, friends and her peers in the youth group.

In the memory of the teenager’s life, the project was dedicated to her, and so, Jo’s Garden was created.

In 2007, there was an official opening of the garden and Deputy Mayor Charlie Casey and Joanne’s mother, Ita Gibney, unveiled a commemorative plaque.

A commemorative plaque in memory of Joanne Gibney

Last year, the Community Association applied for funding through Down Your Street Civic Pride to upgrade the garden with new plants and garden furniture.

This was approved and the garden is, once again, a fitting tribute to a much-loved and missed member of our community.

The garden is looking spectacular again and the Community Association wishes to thank everyone involved in bringing it back to life.

The garden has been brought back to life.

The Association have also been successful in their bid for a grant from Live Here Love Here, a funding body which supports and promotes environmental and community improvements in towns and villages.

Through consultation, it was agreed to purchase three large concrete planters which are situated at the entrance to The Square and at the Community Centre.

Over the past number of Wednesday nights, volunteers have been tackling weeds and litter along the main streets of Newtownhamilton.

These Community Clean Up’s have been organised by local residents with the support of Newtownhamilton Community Association.

In just three weeks the group of volunteers have removed over 50 bags of weeds and dirt from the streets.

This work is set to continue as the group work towards a greener healthier community. They will be back out next Wednesday, August 22, meeting at 7pm at the Community Centre.

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