Walks: Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Street, Dublin 1
This peaceful place, ideal for reflective strolls, is dedicated to the memory of those who died for Irish freedom, especially in the 1916 Rising. President de Valera opened the gardens on Easter Monday, 1966 on the site of the Rotunda Vauxhall Gardens. Daithi Hanley's design reflects the Rising's themes. Liam MacUistin's prize-winning poem, "We saw a vision", is etched in Irish and English on the back wall. Human figures transformed into swans, recalling the Children of Lir legend, symbolise rebirth, victory and elegance.
The cruciform pool is lined with mosaics of broken spear images, reflecting the Celtic custom of throwing weapons into lakes after battles. Decorative railings mirror National Museum artefacts, including Brian Boru's harp and the Ballinderry sword pointed down to symbolise harmony and peace. The gardens are ideal for short strolls, walks or as part of tourist treks to the nearby Writers' Museum and Municipal Art Gallery. My all-Irish school Coláiste Mhuire was based in an adjacent building where the IRB planned the Easter Rising.
More: www.nationalheritage.ie Dublin City Parks & Gardens, Moira Bowers, 1999; Secret Dublin, Pat Liddy, 2001;