ATHENRY COMMUNITY 1916 GARDEN PROJECT
Athenry Tidy Towns and Athenry Enviornmental Network, with voluntary support from local organisations and the people of Athenry, have plans to complete this project in time for Easter 2016.
Our group have permission from the owners and occupiers of the site to erect dry stone walls and establish the commemorative garden. The garden site is at the entrance to the field known locally as the “back lawn” now a new car park and Kenny GAA Park. The site is on the old entrance to the back lawn, where Liam Mellows frequently drilled/trained volunteers and held major gatherings of all volunteers from Co. Galway in the lead up to the 1916 Easter rising. Over 2000 Galway Volunteers assembled in the back lawn, Athenry on 20th of June 1914.Athenry was the major centre of activity in the National struggle outside Dublin during Easter 1916.
Our group has held over 20 meetings during the past two years involving securing the site, planning the work schedule, fund raising, publishing the project and encouraging local people to recall stories about the men, women and events of the time. We have also had advice from the relevant experts to guide us in our activities. The total area of the garden is 200 square metres approximately. The commemorative garden will be close to the public library on the Slí na Sláinte route. The garden will be wheelchair accessible with shrubs, flowers, a fountain and seating. All features of the garden will be in harmony with the ambience of the times including dry stone walling, sculptured seating and native planting. We hope the garden will be a focal point of reflection, relaxation and inclusivity for all including our visitors and Diaspora.
The dry stone walls and planting will be completed by September 2015. The fountain, lighting and paving will be finished by November 2015. The success of the project to date is due to local good will, voluntary effort and financial/material support. The total cost of the garden project is estimated at €18,000. The local financial commitment to date is €3,000 approximately with a further €3,000 worth of material gifted. So far Galway county council have committed €2,000 to the project.
We hope this local commitment together with help from statutory bodies will continue to be forthcoming so that our 1916 commemorative garden will be successfully completed on time.