The Garden of Remembrance serves as a memorial to those who sacrificed their lives in the fight for Irish freedom. The small, peaceful park with an large, attractive tiled pond and an impressive swan sculpture is found in Dublin's north city centre, in the middle of Parnell Square.
The focal point of the solemn memorial is a statue of the Children of Lir -- an ancient Irish myth about children who are converted into swans. Created by Oisin Kelly, the sculpture symbolizes rebirth and resurrection. A tiled pool in a cruciform shape also draws the visitor's eye. At the bottom of the cross is a mosaic of Celtic weapons, symbolizing how the early Irish would declare peace by throwing their weapons into the river. The park's gate has an attractive harp design -- one of Ireland's national symbols.
Designed by Daithi Hanly and laid out in 1966, the garden memorializes the long sequence of failed rebellions that preceded, and ultimately led, to Irish independence. These include:
- The 1798 rebellion of Society of United Irishmen
- The 1803 rebellion of Robert Emmet
- The 1848 rebellion of Young Ireland
- The 1867 rising of the Fenian Brotherhood
The garden also commemorates the 1916 Easter Rising of the Irish Volunteers. This rebellion failed militarily but led to negotiations with the British Government, as well as the subsequent Irish Civil War, or War of Independence (1919-1922). The location was chosen because the Irish Volunteers were founded on the site of the Garden of Remembrance in 1913. Several leaders of the 1916 Rising were held there overnight before being taken to Kilmainham Gaol to be executed. President Eamon de Valera dedicated the garden on the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, in which he served as a commander.
Admission is FREE Opening hours are April - September 8:30 AM to 6 PM; October - March 9:30AM to 4 PM. The gardens are open on Christmas Day.
Garden of Remembrance, Dublin. Image by ozz13x