Group with the Celebration Cake on the opening of the Memorial Garden. Photo by Paul Ward. Paul Ward Memorial Garden Opening at Colaiste Ide agus Iosef

Group with the Celebration Cake on the opening of the Memorial Garden.
Photo by Paul Ward.

On Friday November 18th the newly constructed Memorial Garden was officially opened and the stone sculptured unveiled in Coláiste Ide agus Iosef Abbeyfeale. This was a joint project collaborated by Milford Centre Compassionate Communities and the Parents Association of Colaiste Ide agus Iosef. The centrepiece is a candle carved in stone, inspired by the Book of Durrow and crafted by local monument sculptor Ruairi Dennison.
The ceremony began with words from Maurice O’Connell and Caroline Pierse of the Parents Association who informed the audience about the origin of the project. Mr. Liam Murphy, Principal of Coláiste Ide agus Iosef addressed the assembly and paid tribute to the work done by the Parents Association and Milford Centre in bringing the project to fruition. He also acknowledged the craftsmanship of Ruairi Dennison and welcomed members of the Active Retirement Group to the ceremony.
The unveiling was conducted by Caroline Pierse, Chairperson of the Parents Association and Leas Ceannaire of Coláiste Ide agus Iosef, Ava Collins, who represented the student body.
The garden was officially blessed by Canon Tony Mullins accompanied by Fr. Joe Foley and Canon Neville. Canon Mullins dedicated the garden “as a place of peace and refuge for those who seek solace, in gratitude for the labours of all who love and serve this school community and in loving remembrance of all our loved ones who have died.” He said “May this be a place where the gift of laughter will rise above our troubles, where treasured stories will be shared and the pain of loss will be embraced with arms of hope and trust.”
The event was attended by local Sisters of Mercy Sr. Perpetua Lane and Sr. Delia Curtin. Milford Centre was represented by Dr. Kathy McLoughlin and Rebecca Lloyd.
Maurice O’Connell thanked Vincent Sheehy of Sheehy’s Hardware for his significant assistance with the project. Mary Danaher also received an honourable mention as this initiative was first proposed by her.
It is envisaged that the garden will bring healing and peace to all who visit it. Canon Mullins invoked, it adds beauty to a world that is too often stark and unwelcoming.