herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

WWI monument to remind us of futility of war

The Dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral believes a new monument commemorating the centenary of World War One will remind people of the futility and ugliness of war.

Reverend Victor Stacey said the erection of the new 18ft steel monument was "timely" given the current conflict in Gaza.

"This is an inclusive monument and will connect with any culture and country in the world," he told the Herald. "Commemorating the fallen soldiers from WWI seems more poignant given the current conflict in Gaza."

Entitled The Tree of Remembrance, the new monument features a warped and barren tree trunk covered in faux barbed wire.

Visitors to the cathedral are encouraged to write messages to fallen soldiers or civilians affected by conflict on foliage shaped pieces of papers and tie them to the barbed wire.

"Over 1.6 million people will visit this monument in the next four years," Education Officer of Saint Patrick's, Andrew Smith, explained.

"Their messages of positivity will detract from the ugliness of war. This barren tree will eventually by covered and disguised by this layer of leaves and hand-written notes, prayers and thoughts.

"By acknowledging the past and recognising the horror of war we can move forward.

"This sculpture is a poignant reminder that conflict affects all humanity and that at Saint Patrick's Cathedral all those affected can be remembered."

The monument stands in the north transept of the cathedral. It is a fitting home given that the stained glass triple lancet 
behind it was designed by Welsh artist Frank Brangwyn, a World War One artist who produced over 80 posters during the war.

Another window commemorates the role of the Royal Irish Regiment in South Africa between 1899-1902.

The sculpture is part of the 'Lives Remembered' exhibition which includes interactive timelines and videos of World War One veterans and their relatives.

hnews@herald.ie

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