Council launches initiative to remember those who died during pandemic

Oral history project also launched by local authority

City  Parks Superintendent Les Moore and Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu in Ranelagh Gardens Park at the launch of a scheme to install the new memorial benches at locations around the city.

City Parks Superintendent Les Moore and Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu in Ranelagh Gardens Park at the launch of a scheme to install the new memorial benches at locations around the city.

 

Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu has launched the Memorial Park Benches Initiative, a scheme in which 30 benches will be placed at sites across Dublin City in memory of those who lost their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As I come to end of my term of office as Lord Mayor during what has been the most extraordinary of times, I wanted to pay homage to those who have lost loved-ones over the past sixteen months of this pandemic,” said Ms Chu.

“These benches which Dublin City Council Parks Department and I worked on will offer people an opportunity to sit in nature, reflect and remember those who have died.”

Each bench is to have a plaque containing a quote from a Katharine Tynan’s poem, Farewell: “Fields where my happy heart had rest, And where my heart was heaviest, I shall remember them at peace, Drenched in moon-silver like a fleece.”

Ms Chu, whose term as Lord Mayor ends on June 28th, said she believed the quotes “may provide some solace and hope to people in the days ahead”.

The 30 benches will be installed public places around the city with an emphasis on green spaces managed by the council’s Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services.

City Parks Superintendent Les Moore said “there has never been a time when the parks of the city have been so important to its citizens”.

Meanwhile, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, in partnership with the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin, has launched an new oral history project entitled ‘A People’s History of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.’

The project aims to get those living in the area to tell the stories and share the experiences. It will focus on the telling of stories associated with a wide range of professions in the area.

Council Cathaoirleach councillor Lettie McCarthy welcomed the new project. “This is a wonderful initiative to help capture the unique stories of what it was like to work in the past, as told by the people themselves,” she said.

“I would encourage anybody with a story to tell about their workplaces of the past to consider taking part.”

The project is currently is being headed by Heritage Officer Deirdre Black , Lead Researcher Dr Deirdre Nuttall and Director of the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin, Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh (Director of the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin.

Those interested in participating or obtaining more information can contact the council at: peopleshistory@dlrcoco.ie.