Just south of Phoenix Park, across the River Liffey, are the gates to the Irish National War Memorial…
…and if we head south (to the left) at the rotunda…
…we can see the War Memorial sited at the top of the rise.
The Irish National War Memorial Gardens commemorate nearly 50,000 Irish men and women who gave their lives during the Great War, as well as a further 250,000 who served during that time. Designed by Sir Edmund Lutyens, this view looks west, across the centre of the Gardens.
To the south, the Cross of Sacrifice.
Panoramic view from the Cross of Sacrifice with the Stone of Remembrance in the centre; the trees on the horizon are within Phoenix Park. We entered the gardens from a point roughly where the shadow of the Cross is pointing.
Although the idea for a permanent memorial “to commemorate all those Irish men and women killed in the First World War” was first mooted in 1919, it wasn’t until 1932 that work commenced at the 60 acre site. An official opening suggested for July 1939 was postponed due to the outbreak of the Second World War, and in the post-war world the Gardens and Memorial fell into neglect.
The Gardens and Memorial were finally dedicated, and officially opened to the public, in September 1988.
Looking north towards the Stone of Remembrance in the centre of the Gardens, the rotunda we encountered at the start of our tour, and the River Liffey down in the dip beyond. Now here’s an interesting thing. Click on the picture and enlarge it, then take a close look at the horizon in the right half of the photo. Yes, that is indeed a watchtower, and further to the right you can also make out some castle-like structures. This is actually the Phoenix Park Magazine Fort, and it was here, on 24th April 1916, that the first act of the Easter Rising was played out, when a group of rebels, intent on destroying the facility and seizing the ammunition stored there, captured the guards and attempted to gain entry to the magazine. They were unable to do so and, sadly, tragedy ensued.
Sixteen tons, I believe, of Irish granite.