Last week saw the launch of a new ‘Community Garden’ at Barrack Street in the town, which was officially dedicated to the memory of all those from the area who died on the roads.
The event was run in conjunction with the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána, both of whom are promoting safety on the roads among young people.
The new garden boasts a beautiful mosaic piece which was created by the members of Fuse Youth Cafe and incorporates the Tree of Life – dedicated to the memory of people from the area who died on the roads, and to remember that those lost will never be forgotten.
Julienne Cranogue, Fuse Youth Cafe told the gathering that the theme of the garden was ‘On the Stem of Memory, Imagination and Blossom’ and that as young citizen’s, members wanted “to make more important decisions when it comes to road safety awareness”.
“We contacted Spun Out in relation to our ideas about the garden and we were provided with a grant to make all this happen,” she added. “As part of the project, we worked on a mosaic, which reminds us of all those lost on the roads, in our community, who will never be forgotten.”
Connor O’Reilly, volunteer atFuse Cafe, then spoke about the unique garden.
“The Tree of Life was designed and created by young people, all under the age of 25 years and depicts a male and female human shape in the trunk of a tree, with roots secured in the earth,” he said.
“These shapes show that the male or female lost in road traffic collisions still live on, deep rooted within our community. The leaves and branches are various colours, representing the individuality of every person and the bird,which is white in colour, represents the dove of peace.”
The young volunteer went on to say that the flowers, planted with tender loving care within the garden, symbolised “the beauty of life and the preciousness of existence” and were planted in the shape of a heart “to bring warmth to the lonely and down hearted”.
“The roots spread wide and show the impact of loss to the whole community when a traffic collision happens,” Mr O’Reilly affirmed. “The roots also represent ‘new life’ being brought forth through memories, fed by nature, thus bringing consolation to those left behind. It also provides hope to communities for a better tomorrow.
“The tree is a very symbolic piece of nature for people, and its strength and beauty never fails to console, protect and shade human beings. The word ‘Remembered’ is carved within, so that everyone knows that those lost in our community are never forgotten. Those in our garden can view the art work and become more aware of road safety and the precious nature of life.”
Garda Padraig O’Gara, Road Traffic Division, Longford/Roscommon then provided a very interesting discussion around the whole area of road safety and Mitchlen Egan also spoke to the young people gathered, about the value of self esteem and self worth in their lives.
Co Longford VEC also provided Lus na Gréine with a tutor for a horticulture course, which has seen 20 local people come on board. Upon completion of the course they will join with all members of the community in Granard to maintain, develop and upkeep the beautiful community garden, in the heart of a town that is determined, never to forget all its loved ones, who died on the nations roads.