independent

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Emotional day as garden is opened

Andrew Furlong cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of‘Cuain Aingeal –Angel Harbour’ at Ferrybank. Also pictured are Alan Corcoran, Bernadette O’Leary, outgoing Mayor Jim Moore, and Lorraine Smyth
Andrew Furlong cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of‘Cuain Aingeal –Angel Harbour’ at Ferrybank. Also pictured are Alan Corcoran, Bernadette O’Leary, outgoing Mayor Jim Moore, and Lorraine Smyth
The Breslin/O’Leary family at the official opening of ‘Cuan Aingeal - Angel Harbour’ at Ferrybank
‘Cuan Aingeal’ or Angel Harbour

Anna Hayes

A new memorial garden, offering a place of peace and solace for those grieving the loss of young people, was recently opened by Andrew Furlong.

'Cuan Aingeal' or Angel Harbour is located in Ardcavan, opposite the Riverbank House Hotel. A personal project of local women Bernadette O'Leary and Lorraine Smyth, the garden had its roots in a vigil held in the aftermath of the death of Nicola Furlong in Japan in 2012. The women, following requests for a yearly vigil, decided instead that a garden would be a welcome addition to the town for those grieving the loss of loved ones.

For the past six years, Ms O'Leary and Ms Smyth have worked tirelessly on the project, firstly to secure the site which they felt was the most appropriate location for the garden, and subsequently to get sponsors on board to cover the various works making up the garden. The centrepiece angel statue was forged by Kent Manufacturing, seating was installed by Keating Insulation and Harry Hart, and the stonework was completed by Nolan Stoneworks in Ardcavan.

The ribbon was officially cut by Andrew Furlong who noted that the garden was for those who had lost children or young people and paid tribute to Ms O'Leary and Ms Smyth for their hard work and determination.

Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Jim Moore also thanked the women for their work, saying he was delighted that there was some place for families to go. Ms O'Leary and Ms Smyth also spoke, expressing their own thanks to those who had supported them. Music was provided through the ceremony by Stephen Murphy. The group enjoyed tea, coffee and a chat in the Riverbank House Hotel after the ceremony.

Ms O'Leary said she and Ms Smyth were 'very proud and very emotional' to see their work come to fruition.

'We had a great day and everyone enjoyed the ceremony. It's the culmination of nearly six years of work but if it helps even one person it'll be worth it. Any time I have passed by it I've seen someone there and I always think 'I hope it brings you peace'.'

Wexford People

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