The White House Garden Project put down its roots in Castlefin this week with the announcement that a large portion of funding has been secured.
Locals have now promised to match that funding in a bid to create one of the most ambitious garden projects ever undertaken.
When completed and opened on 28th June 2013, the 50th Anniversary of the first visit of a serving American President to Ireland, it is hoped that many jobs will be created and a unique tourism project secured.
The garden is being designed by none other than Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal Winner, Diarmuid Gavin.
Spearheaded by the Castlefin Partnership Initiative, the White House Garden has been granted €180,000 by Donegal Local Development Company Ltd. Match funding in the region of €100,000 is now being raised by the Committee through sponsorship and corporate offerings.
Michael Carlin said the multi-faceted nature of it will attract broad appeal from locals and international tourists alike.
“This project encompasses tourism, history, genealogy, culture, tradition but most of all it gives hope for the future. It will create employment and it will stave off emigration which ironically is also a theme of the White House Garden.”
“This is probably one of the most innovative but challenging projects to be undertaken by a Social Enterprise Committee, but given our experience in bringing an idea to life, we are confident we can deliver on it for the benefit of all communities in the North West.
“The North West Garden Show grew from an idea to attracting 21,000 people this year. We are hugely grateful to the Board of DLDC who have invested their belief in us and to that we say a heartfelt thank you,” says Michael Carlin.
Celebrity gardener Gavin said “Inspired by the memory of Irish architect James Hoban, who designed the original White House Garden, Castlefinn Partnership Initiative Ltd will replicate this garden at their complex in Castlefinn Co. Donegal. It will attract tens of thousands of visitors every year.”
Michael Carlin and Diarmuid Gavin have now begun a series of meetings to raise the profile of the project which, it’s hoped, will generate national interest in the project.
Last week they met with Mayor of Donegal Cllr. Frank McBrearty, completed a series of media interviews, and formally thanked funders DLDC.
“We are delighted to welcome Retail Store of the Year McElhinneys of Ballybofey who have joined us on this project,” says Michael.
Summing up the beginning of a journey which it’s hoped will end in Washington DC, Michael Carlin says, “this project is a gift made of the hands of the Irish people, extended to our friends in the United States of America.”