This morning marked a special commemoration for the lives of those lost to Covid-19, when Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, along with AnnMarie Farrelly Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, planted a memorial tree in Townpark Swords.
This tree planting is one of several taking place across the country to mark International Day for Older Persons, which takes place today, Friday, October 1, and is the culmination of Positive Ageing Week in Fingal.
The tree plantings are part of a national campaign led by John Keogh, who tragically lost his sister Amanda to Covid-19 in 2020, for a national memorial forest.
The campaign aims to have many more trees planted to commemorate all those who have died as well as those who made enormous sacrifices to provide front line services throughout the pandemic.
Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh spoke about the impact Covid-19 has had on older people in particular.
“When our older people cocooned, they sacrificed their social wellbeing to stay safe at home and they lost the important opportunity to grieve together and comfort one another when friends and relatives passed away.
“Today is an important moment to pause, acknowledge that sacrifice and make time for remembrance.”
Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, spoke too about the importannce of commemoration. ‘Our communities have been deeply affected by Covid-19 but they have also rallied behind their friends, family and neighbours in their time of need. Today on International Day for Older Persons we commemorate not only those whose lives were tragically cut short, but we also remember the care and kindness that has carried us through such hard times.’
The planting of this commemorative tree took place adjacent to the rock garden within the Townpark and this setting was chosen for its tranquil location within Swords, the county town of Fingal.
It offers a place for quiet contemplation to visitors who may also wish to remember their own loved ones and all those who have passed away throughout the pandemic.
You can find out more about the campaign for a National Memorial Forest at www.nationalmemorialforest.org