The Garden of Remembrance is a popular memorial garden in Dublin dedicated to the memory of "all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom". It is located in the northern fifth of the former Rotunda Gardens in Parnell Square, a Georgian square at the northern end of O'Connell Street.
The Garden was designed by Dáithí Hanly. It is in the form of a sunken cruciform water-feature. Its focal point is a statue of the Children of Lir by Oisín Kelly, symbolising rebirth and resurrection, added in 1971.
In 1976, a contest was held to find a poem which could express the appreciation and inspiration of this struggle for freedom. The winner was Dublin born author Liam Mac Uistín, whose poem "We Saw a Vision", an aisling style poem, is written in Irish, French, and English on the stone wall of the monument. The aisling form was used in eighteenth-century poems longing for an end to Ireland's miserable condition.
"We Saw A Vision"
In the darkness of despair we saw a vision, We lit the light of hope and it was not extinguished.
In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision.
We planted the tree of valour and it blossomed.
In the winter of bondage we saw a vision.
We melted the snow of lethargy and the river of resurrection flowed from it.
We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river. The vision became a reality.
Winter became summer. Bondage became freedom and this we left to you as your inheritance.
O generations of freedom remember us, the generations of the vision.
In 2004, it was suggested that as part of the redesign of the square the Garden of Remembrance itself might be redesigned. This led to the construction of a new entrance on the garden's northern side in 2007.
Queen Elizabeth II laid a wreath in the Garden of Remembrance during her state visit in May 2011, a gesture that was much praised in the Irish media, and which was also attended, upon invitation, by the widow and daughter of the garden's designer Dáithí Hanly.
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