Nenagh group plants ‘hugging tree’ in Wellness Garden

A Tree of Peace, named in honour of a former winner of the Tipperary Peace Prize, has been planted by a local group in Nenagh’s Community / Wellness Garden.

A Tree of Peace, named in honour of a former winner of the Tipperary Peace Prize, has been planted by a local group in Nenagh’s Community / Wellness Garden.

The tree, a crab apple, was named the “Hugging Tree” in honour of Sr Mata Amritanandamayi, known as the Hugging Nun, and winner of the peace award in 2008.

Organiser Margaret McGuire said the idea for the planting sprang from World Peace Week, which had been originally marked in Nenagh in 2009 during the World March for Peace.

She said her group was focused on “peace for all and not peace for some”, and was influenced by Sr Mata, better known simply as Amma, who celebrates her 60th birthday this week.

“This little woman from India came from a lower caste and was able to rise out of it to become an emissary of peace. The greater our handicap, the greater we can rise out it,” she said.

Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, who helped set up the garden during her mayoralty in 2011, said the tree fitted well into its concept of creating a space for mental and physical wellness.

Gerry Coffey, who is over the garden, said that the one thing missing from today’s society ws love.

“However, it doesn’t matter who you are, you are welcome here in the garden”, he said. “The garden is for the community. All you have to do is open the gate and walk in”.

The crab apple, which was chosen because of its healing attributes, was planted by Denis O’Gorman of Nenagh Community Garden.