THE IRISH NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL GARDENS [ISLANDBRIDGE DUBLIN]-152425
The Irish National War Memorial Gardens is an Irish war memorial in Islandbridge, Dublin, dedicated "to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914–1918" out of over 300,000 Irishmen who served in all armies.
Although commemorations of the fallen by Irish British Armed Forces veterans and families took place at the site for a few years in the late 1940s and 1950s, with some impressive attendances, the politico-cultural situation in the State, and its nationally dominant ideologically adverse view of Ireland’s role in World War I, and of those who had volunteered to fight in World War II, prevented the Garden from being civically opened and dedicated.
The Garden was subject to two Irish Republican paramilitary attacks. On Christmas night 1956 a bomb was placed at the base of its War Stone and memorial cross and detonated, but the County Wicklow quarried granite withstood the blast with little damage. Another attempt was made to bring it down again with a bomb detonation in October 1958, which once more failed, resulting in superficial damage.
A subsequent lack of financing from the Government to provision its up-keep and care allowed the site to fall into dilapidation and vandalism over the following decades, to the point that by the late 1970s it had become a site for caravans and animals of the Irish Traveller community, with the Dublin Corporation’s refuse disposal office using it as a rubbish dump for the city’s waste. In addition fifty years of storms and the elements had left their mark, with structural damage un-repaired to parts of the Garden’s ornamentation.
In the mid-1980s economic and cultural shifts began to occur in Ireland which facilitated a regeneration of urban decay in Dublin, and the beginning of a change in the public’s view of its pre-Irish Revolution national history and identity, which led to a project of restoration work to renew the park and gardens to their former splendour being undertaken by the Office of Public Works, co-funded by the National War Memorial Committee. On 10 September 1988 the fully restored Gardens were re-opened to the public, and formally dedicated by representatives of the four main Churches of Ireland, half a century after its creation.
By infomatique on 2019-05-11 16:40:20