The final memorial at St Mary's Garden of Remembrance will be unveiled on Sunday afternoon next when all British and Irish men, women and children, and British and Irish soldiers who lost their lives in the 1916 Rising will be commemorated.
A large gathering of international guests will be in attendance at this very unique event which will commence with Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption at 12 noon led by Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly SMA.
There will be ambassadors and representatives of Britain, Georgia, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United States and a representative of the Dalai Lama, the Venerable Panchen Otrul Rinpoche, in attendance on the day as well as a host of local guests and representatives from the Order of Malta, Garda Siochana, ONE and many more.
Following Mass, there will be a parade from the Cathedral of the Assumption up to Liberty Square and back down to St Mary's Garden of Remembrance for the unveiling of the memorial by Archbishop O'Reilly and Mr Domnick Chilcott, British Ambassador. This will be the 12th, and final, memorial to be unveiled in St Mary's since 2000 - one of the most unique such memorial gardens in the world.
The memorial itself was built by PJ Ryan and Sons while the marblework was undertaken by Mr James Slattery. And the Garden of Remembrance has been undergoing a facelift over the course of the last few days thanks to the Refresh Thurles group to ensure that everything is in ship shape for the big day.
The Thomas MacDonagh Pipe Band from Templemore will be in attendance and will lead the parade alongside the colour party from the ONE. United Nations Veterans and the Order of Malta. Members of the public are invited to join in the parade and the celebrations at St Mary's. There will be a number of guest speakers at St Mary's and presentations will be made to visiting dignitaries at the conclusion of the ceremony which will involve the blessing of the memorial as well.
The event is being supported by the 2016 celebration committee spearheaded by Tipperary County Council while Fr Gerard Hennessy, CC Thurles Cathedral Presbytery, has played a key role in organising the arrangements for the Mass. Archbishop Emeritus, Dermot Clifford, who is an Honorary Member of the Durlas Eile Eliogarty Memorial Commitee will also be in attendance to Concelebrate the Mass.
Mr John Wort, President of the Durlas Eile Eliogarty Memorial Committee told the Tipperary Star this week, “this is a huge event for the committee and for St Mary's Garden of Remembrance. It will be the 12th memorial unveiled in the Garden and of course we also have a Cedar of Lebanon tree presented by My Guy Jones marking the Irish soliders who were killed on duty in the Lebanon. It is tree number 6 of 46, commemorating the 46 who lost their lives.
“We are expecting a big attendance on the day and we invite members of the public to come along and support the event. It is a big day for Thurles with so many ambassadors and representatives attending and we want to make sure that we put our best foot forward. A lot of very good work has been done over the last few weeks to get the arrangements in place and we are really looking forward to a great day now,” he said.
For anyone who has not visited St Mary's Garden of Remembrance in the past, Sunday would be the ideal opportunity. It is a real oasis right in the middle of the bustling Cathedral Town - a place to take time out, relax, reflect and remember those who lost their lives in various conflicts, in the call of duty, in the famine etc. It is a beautifully maintained garden with a difference. See for yourself.