Castlelfinn Partnership Initiative

An Introduction by Michael Carlin (CPI)


Michael Carlin, Project Manager CPI

Castlefinn Partnership Initiative and The Northwest Garden show are extremely excited and hugely humbled to be involved in the process of creating “An Irish Garden for the White House” in Co. Donegal.

It would bring us such great pride to be involved in creating something that could have such a long lasting legacy in one of the most important and iconic buildings in the world. Also, it will provide our local community with a spectacular piece of modern Irish design that they can use and enjoy, together with visitors from all over the country and the world.

Castlefinn is a central point in connecting neighbouring towns and villages in the Finn Valley. Generations of the Irish diaspora who have left this area for the new World have traveled through Castlefinn on their way to the emigrant ships docked at Derry, Dublin and Belfast. The development of the White House peace garden in the heart of the Finn valley will act as a reminder of those children of Ireland who have made a future for themselves in the land of freedom and opportunity in search of the American Dream. We would hope that some day, their ancestors can return and visit this wonderful spectacle that has been inspired by the memory and close connections with our friends and loved ones across the ocean.

Castlefinn and the surrounding area, both north and south, has suffered both socially and economically from the many years of conflict, and this project will be an opportunity to generate more progress in these areas. The Garden will also act as a reminder of the important role played by the USA in the resolution of the conflict. We hope the White House Peace Garden will become a venue for cultural events and ceremonies, and will act as a tribute to the special relationship between Ireland and the United States of America.

The Garden will become a pleasant location for all to meet and socialise and will be a venue for us all to come together in greater understanding of each other in an integrated peaceful and multi-cultured community. It will also provide much needed employment and a long lasting source of revenue for the locality.

It will become a showcase for the very best of Irish and American arts, craft and culture. We hope the garden will become one of the North West’s most unique international tourist attractions when complete

The garden’s completion in 2013 will mark 50 years since the first American President touched down on Irish soil. This was also significant in that this President was himself a descendant of Ireland. This notable coincidence reminds us of the words John F. Kennedy spoke in Dáil Éireann in 1963 –

 “It is that quality of the Irish – that remarkable combination of hope, confidence and imagination – that is needed more than ever today.”

Those words hold great resonance today, half a century on, and we hope that you, the local community will take inspiration from them.

Michael Carlin