A Memory Garden, dedicated to those who have left donations to the ISPCA in their Wills, was opened in the National Animal Centre recently.
Located in Derryglogher Lodge, Kenagh, Co. Longford, the garden was officially opened by journalist and ISPCA Ambassador Anne Doyle, after a blessing by Father Gerard Brady. Ms Doyle was very impressed with the garden, saying “The garden itself is very beautiful, and has achieved exactly what they wanted to achieve”, adding that there was a “good vibe” about the garden.
Award-winning designer Sean Keighran designed the garden, enlisting the help of local wood carver Richard Clarke who designed and created a number of beautiful sculptures to enhance the garden’s effect. Each sculpture has its own significance and meaning, something which adds greatly to the garden.
Mr Keighran was happy to take on the project, but was always conscious of the garden’s original state, pointing out that “someone put love and care” into the space in the first place. Rather than removing what was there to start anew, he worked with his surroundings, and the effect is magnificent. Mr Keighran was quick to commend the generosity and hard work of all involved, including the students of Lanesboro Community College who assisted in the creation of the garden.
Clare Farrell, ISPCA Fundraising Executive, was a key figure in the creation of the garden, and is delighted with the results. “The garden has been stunningly created to compliment nature and its woodland propensity. A sense of calm descends the moment you step over the threshold to the retreat, and immediately the spirit of tranquility and echoes of loved souls are humbling.”
Carmel Murray, Public Relations Officer with the ISPCA added that “the support from the local community and businesses has been truly astounding; many donating materials, services and their time to develop the garden into a place of sincere beauty”.
Those in attendance were mesmerised by the beauty of the garden, and Ms Doyle, a lifelong animal lover, hopes that when people come to see the garden, that maybe they’ll go to see the animals too. “You always had your friends if you had animals” she stated, continuing “they’re a part of the family, and they should be”.