Dublin – The Garden of Remembrance

Time for the final set of photos from my Dublin trip late last year.

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This is the Dublin Garden of Remembrance at the northern end of Parnell Square, on the site of the former gardens of the Rotunda Hospital,…

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…opened in 1966 by President Éamon de Valera, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising, to all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.

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But I don’t think we shall be using the main entrance today.

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Fortunately, there are other ways in.

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The centrepiece of the gardens, added in 1971, is this statue by Irish sculptor Oisín Kelly,…

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…which portrays the Children of Lir who, in ancient Irish legend, were four royal children turned into swans for nine hundred years before once again becoming human, symbols of rebirth and resurrection, so the story goes.

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The gardens commemorate Irish freedom fighters from uprisings down the years, beginning with the 1798 rebellion of the Society of United Irishmen,…

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…and including Robert Emmet’s rebellion of 1803,…

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…the Young Ireland rebellion of 1848,…

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…the rising of the Fenian Brotherhood in 1867,…

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…and then, into the twentieth century, the Easter Rising and the Irish War of Independence, both of which you will find plenty about elsewhere on this site.

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In 1976 a poetry competition was held to find a suitable poem to express the Irish struggle for freedom,…

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…the winner, ‘We Saw A Vision’, by Irish writer Liam Mac Uistín, now to be found in Irish,…

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…French & English on the wall behind the statue.

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The garden is sited, appropriately, where the Irish Volunteers were founded in 1913,…

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…and was designed by Dáithí Hanly in the form of a sunken cruciform water feature.

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In ancient Celtic tradition (and others, most notably Roman),…

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…it was customary for weapons to be cast into rivers or lakes for religious purposes,…

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…as symbolically represented here…

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…at the four points of the cruciform.

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In 2011, during her state visit to Ireland, Queen Elizabeth II symbolically laid a wreath here…

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…in the presence of the widow and daughter of the garden’s designer, Dáithí Hanly.

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And back where we started.

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Au revoir Dublin.  I’ll be back.

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