Gáirdín an Ghorta

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Today 18/5/10, 5th and 6th class went down to the local historic site, Gáirdín an Ghorta. It was built to commemorate the Great Famine (An Ghorta Mór). The garden was officially opened by President Mary MacAleese on the 15th of October 1999.

There are three parts to the garden which are: Pre-Famine times, The Great Famine and the Future.

Gáirdín na Saileach (the Sally Garden) and Garraí na bPrátaí (the Potato garden) make up the Pre-Famine phase. In Gáirdín na Saileach there is a typical house of which a labourer would have lived in with a cottage garden. The reason that it is called Gáirdín na Saileach is because there were many Sally trees’ which people used to make baskets and furniture. In Garraí na bPrátaí it is like a potato garden.

Cosán na mBeo ( Path of the living), Slí na Fírinne (Path of the dead), Clais an Bhróin (Valley if sorrows) , Droichead na nDeor (Bridge of tears), Oiléan an Ocrais (Hungry Island) Abhain na nDeor (River of Tears) Droichead an Chruatain( Bridge of Hardship) and An Re Ciúin( The Silent Era) make up the Famine time. When you first arrive in the Famine time you can go on Cosán na mBeo or Slí na Fírinne. Cosán na mBeo represents all the people who survived the Famine. Slí na Fírinne represents all the people who died or emigrated in the Famine. Both paths end in Clais an Bhróin. In Clais an Bhróin you first come to Droichead na nDeor which brings you to Oilean an Ocrais. Around Oilean an Ocrais is Abhainn na nDeor. To leave Oilean Ocrais you must go on Droichead an Chruatain where you end up in An Ré Ciúin. An Ré Ciúin is when nobody said a word about the Famine because they were ashamed because they thought that God was punishing them.

Gáirdín na Flúirse (Garden of Plenty) Cruinniú na Féile (Communal meeting place) and Gáirdín an Dóchais agus na Síochána (Garden of Hope and Reconciliation) makes up the Future garden. In Gáirdín na Flúirse it is full of life. In Cruinniú na Féile there is a large rock which has all the information about the Famine on it. In Gáirdín an Dóchais agus na Síochana it is really peaceful and is like a spring garden.

All in all, I enjoyed my day and I learned a lot about the Famine!
I would also like to thank Mr. Twomey for the wonderful tour of Gáirdín an Ghorta. He really is keeping the garden really clean and it is also looking really good!
By Grace Aylward

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