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Launch of 1916 Children's Commemorative Play Garden


Thursday 13th May 2019

This morning Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe, in conjunction with Minister Katherine Zappone launched the 1916 Children’s Commemorative Play Garden at St Audeon’s Park, Cook Street, Merchant’s Quay, Dublin 8. 

The 1916 Children’s Commemorative Play Garden was designed by Bloom Fringe, with input from children and young people, and delivered by Dermot Foley landscape architects and Dublin City Council.  

220 children and young people were consulted as part of the 2016 Centenary Programme on the theme Imagining Our Future by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on behalf of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. A research team from University College Cork captured their views which were then integrated into the design process of the 1916 Children’s Commemorative Play Garden. 

The children and young people felt there was no permanent legacy to the children who lost their lives in the Easter Rising. They wanted something that would both honour the children of 1916 and give pleasure to today's children and young people. 

Lord Mayor, Paul Mc Auliffe said, “The ceremony here today in the beautiful setting of St. Audoen’s Park is a bitter sweet one. As we celebrate the launch of the 1916 Children’s Commemorative Play Garden, we are mindful of the forgotten short lives of the forty children who died during the Easter Rising 1916. The idea for the garden originated from children and young people who took part in the 2016 consultations and it is the first memorial to those children who died so tragically but will now not be forgotten by future generations.”

Speaking at the launch Minister Zappone said "The play garden was designed with the vision of creating a setting where old memories can be treasured, and new memories can be made. This space represents the past, the present and the future. My hope is that this play garden will bring joy to all visitors while also providing a space to respect the memory of the children of 1916."

Dublin City Council and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs agreed to allocate €150,000 each, in capital funding for the development of a new play garden for children and teenagers in Dublin City Centre.  

In attendance at the launch were the relatives of the children who lost their lives in 1916, Joe Duffy, author of the book Children of the Rising – the forgotten casualties of 1916 and many children who were involved in the process of developing the play garden from St. Audeon’s National School and St. Francis National School, as well as the young people on the steering committee for the project. 

The play garden will be open to all from today, to enjoy and respect the memory of the children of 1916.