Linking Irish myth with Irish history, this small garden reflects Ireland’s centuries-long struggle for independence and was designed by Dáithí Hanly.
The garden was opened in 1966, on the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, celebrating Ireland’s freedom. It’s where the Irish Volunteers were founded in 1913, and during the 1916 Rising, some of the leaders were held overnight here before they were taken to Kilmainham Gaol. President Éamon de Valera, who was a commander in the Rising, opened the Garden and it commemorates not only the people who fought in the Easter Rising but all Irish freedom fighters, including those who fought in the 1798 rebellion, the 1867 rising and the 1919-21 Irish War of Independence. Designer Dáithí Hanly created this garden in a cross shape and commissioned a statue of the Children of Lir to stand in the middle: characters from an Irish legend symbolising rebirth and resurrection. This was designed by Oisín Kelly and added to the garden in 1971.
If you look closely at the monument you’ll see a poem written there in Irish, French and English. It was written by Liam Mac Uistín and won a 1976 contest for a poem which expresses appreciation for those who struggled for freedom. The poem is in an aisling form which was a traditional form of 18th-century lament for the misery of the Irish people.