The Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council, Cllr Noel Keelan (Carrickmacross) and the Cathaoirleach of the Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal District Council, Cllr. P.J. O’Hanlon (Carrickmacross) headed a list of local authority dignitaries at the official launch of a Community Garden of Remembrance in Castleblayney on Monday afternoon last.
The project, undertaken by the Municipal District Council in conjunction with Castleblayney Tidy Towns Committee, led to the creation of a tiny but picturesque ornamental garden which will serve as an ideal respite area, just off Church Street, in the shadow of St. Maeldoid’s Parish Church.
The area is steeped in history and the garden site at Barney’s Green, where an appropriate wall plaque to commemorate the 1916 Rising, is set adjacent to the special permanent seating provided.
The Tricolour was on display and prior to the launch, local Uileann pipers Peter Coyle and Lilianne Coyle provided some very appropriate music for the occasion. The Cathaoirleach of Monaghan; Co. Council Cllr. Keelan and Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District Council, Cllr. O’Hanlon, were joined by all the members of the municipal body; Cllrs Aidan Campbell, Padraig McNally, Colm Carthy, and Jackie Crowe. Also present were Ms. Frances Matthews, Carrickmacross, co-ordinator of the Municipal Authority; Very Rev. Fr. Pat McHugh, P.P., Castleblayney; Mr. Pat Merrick, Chairman of Blayney Tidy Towns’ Committee; Mr. Raymond McHugh, Principal of St. Macarten’s College, Monaghan; Ms. Janet Hill, Hon. Treasurer, Castleblayney Show Society; Mr. Tommy McGuire, Manager, Castleblayney Community Enterprise Centre; and some other representatives of local voluntary community groups and schools.
Addressing the assembled crowd, prior to the launch of the Remembrance Garden, Cllr O’Hanlon, recalled that he had presided at the launch of a similar ceremony earlier in the day with the creation of another remembrance garden in Carrickmacross.
Cllr O’Hanlon spoke of the tremendous amount that can be achieved by communities coming together in such worthwhile projects and he commended the various voluntary groups involved in the hugely impressive Blayney garden, including the local Tidy Towns’ Committee.
Cllr. O’Hanlon struck a sentimental note in declaring that all who came to the Blayney Garden in Barney’s Green could spare a thought for all those who came from the immediate area in the town’s bygone era.
He also commended his colleagues on the local authority and the various municipal district council officials who had provided great assistance and support for the Remembrance Garden projects.
Amid applause, the tape-cutting ceremony was carried out by local residents, Barney and Vincent McDonald, whose family links remain with the special garden.
The project, which attracted huge local interest in the area, marking the 100th centenary of the 1916 Rising, was support-funded by Ireland 2016 Community Initiative Fund and Monaghan County Council in conjunction with Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal District Council and Castleblayney Tidy Towns’ Committee.
All photos courtesy of Mary Byrne.