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[Monument]ALONG THE LIFFEY - War Memorial Gardens

 
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Dec 2007 13:17    Onderwerp: [Monument]ALONG THE LIFFEY - War Memorial Gardens Reageer met quote

The Irish National War Memorial Gardens (Irish: Gairdíní Náisiúnta Cuimhneacháin Cogaidh na hÉireann) is an Irish war memorial in Dublin dedicated to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died between 1914-1918 in the First World War, out of over 300,000 who served in all armies.

The Memorial Gardens also commemorate all other Irish men and women who at that time served, fought and died in regiments of the Allied armies, the British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, South African and United States armies in support of the Triple Entente’s retaliation to free Europe from the oppression of the Central Powers.

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http://streetsofdublin.wordpress.com/2007/12/19/along-the-liffey-war-memorial-gardens-5/
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Yvonne
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BerichtGeplaatst: 19 Dec 2007 13:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

This has to be the strangest history of them all - planned by Sir Edwin Lutyens immediately after the First World War to remember the 49,000 Irish war dead. But the process of construction was overtaken by political events and the successive governments of the Free State and the Republic did not show any enthusiasm at all for the monument. In many circles the War Memorial Gardens were seen as a glorification of the British Army. Which it isn’t - it just remembers the effort of Irishmen in the war. The monument and park were thus only finished many decades after the First World War.

Some describe this as Ireland’s least favorite monument, seldom used for its original purpose … but a good place for a stroll.

Although small commemorations took place for a few years from 1948, the political situation did not sanction that the Gardens be “officially” opened and dedicated, subsequent lack of staff also allowing the site to fall into neglect, decay and dilapidation during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, when it had become an open site for caravans and animals of the Irish Traveller community. In addition, sixty years of storms had left its mark. From the mid-1980’s, restoration work to renew the park and gardens to their former splendour were undertaken by the OPW, co-funded by the National War Memorial Committee which is representative of Ireland, both north and south. On September 10. 1988 the Gardens were formally dedicated by representatives of the four main Churches in Ireland and unofficially opened to the public.

The first, real, full official “state opening and dedication” took place with the moving commemoration to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme on July 1st 2006, attended by the President of Ireland Mary McAleese, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Members of the Oireachtas and Seanad Éireann, leading representatives of all political parties in Ireland, the Diplomatic Corps of the Allies of World War I, delegates from Northern Ireland , representatives of the four main Churches, and solemnly accompanied by a Guard of Honour of the Irish Army and Army Band.

Most of the area is given over to landscaped lawns, with some buildings housing rowing clubs near the Liffey. The War Memorial Gardens themselves are nearly hidden away, despite its not inconsiderable size. Two crescents with tower-like buildings incorparated form the outer boundary of the monument. Central are an altar-like stone cube and a massive stone cross. The tone is sombre, the style almost classical - there are no heroic statues and almost no ornaments


These gardens are one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe. They are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1914-1918 war. The names of all the soldiers are contained in the granite bookrooms in the Gardens. These gardens are not only a place of remembrance but are also of architectural interest and of great beauty. Designed by the famous architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944), they are one of four Gardens in this country designed by him. The others being Heywood Gardens, Lambay Island and those in Howth Castle. Sunken rose gardens, herbaceous borders and extensive tree planting make for an enjoyable visit to the Gardens in any season.
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