5 April 2007 Edition
Memorial Garden : Sacrifice of republican women honoured
New project a fitting tribute to women activists
An ambitious project to build a memorial garden to honour the women of Ireland who have dedicated their lives to the struggle for freedom is well under way.
The project was launched earlier this year by a group of republican women under the name Macalla na mBan, or Echoes of Women.
Speaking to An Phoblacht at the site of the new memorial garden Sinn Féin assembly member Sue Ramsey and Sinead Moore, both members of Macalla, explained that the inspiration for the memorial garden arose after the untimely death of Siobhán O’Hanlon last year.
Siobhán, an ex-POW and lifetime republican activist, died last April from cancer.
“We reflected on how so many women, throughout the country, had sacrificed so much over the years. They opened their doors, fed volunteers, allowed their homes to be used as arms dumps yet got very little recognition for their commitment. So we thought that this memorial garden would be a good way for the Movement to honour the part that women played individually and collectively in the struggle”.
The work on the Garden is well advanced in the site at the Roddy McCorley Club on the Glen Road in Belfast.
The shamrock shaped garden has areas for people to sit and reflect and will have a decorative water feature at it’s heart.
The walkways around the garden are being built out of sandstone paving stones and the group have raised a lot of money for the garden through people buying a paving stone with their name engraved on it for £100.
“We hope to open the garden in May but we still need to raise more funding”, said Sue and Sinead.
“We would appeal to republicans throughout the country, whether as individuals or as members of cumainn or other groups within the party to contribute to ensure the garden is the fitting tribute to those republican women who gave so much that they deserve”.
Contact Macalla na mBan at 148 Springfield Road Belfast BT 11 7 DQ or phone 028 90 235323