After at least admiring the church’s French Gothic architecture, we crossed the street to Parnell Square and the Garden of Remembrance, a serene space of green dedicated to “All those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.” In the center of the garden is a large pool laid out in the form of a Latin cross.
The floor of the pool is decorated with blue and green tiles placed in a design that mimics the movement of rippling water. Overlaid onto this base are tiled images of weapons — swords and shields — symbolizing the Celtic custom of casting weapons into rivers and streams as a way of signifying the end of hostilities.
Elevated at one end of this tranquil park is a unique sculpture called The Children of Lir, which name refers to an ancient Irish legend in which children were turned into swans by their stepmother. This particular sculpture symbolizes rebirth and resurrection — the rebirth of the Irish nation after its 900 years of struggle for independence from Britain.
The Garden of Remembrance was a welcome respite from the bustling streets of Dublin, but there was much more to see in a short amount of time so we returned to the streets of the city. Not far from the park, we passed a life-size statue of James Joyce; looking up, I realized we were at the door of the Writers Museum. But we agreed we’d rather spend our limited time on the streets of Dublin rather than inside an obscure, albeit interesting museum — onward we went.