THE sun shone through rain and drizzle in St Mary’s Park as the community gathered to light up a tree to remember loved ones at Christmas.
Mayor Michael Sheahan, the Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral Sandra Pragnell and Rev John O’Byrne of the neighbouring Catholic church joined residents at the shrine opposite the community centre for the turning on of a special memory tree.
St Mary’s AID teamed up with St Mary’s Church to set up the tree, with residents being asked to sponsor and dedicate a light on it for €5, with all proceeds going to Milford Hospice.
The electrical light will shine brightly up to the Epiphany on January 6.
Ms Pragnell said the memory tree is “a great gift to the whole community”.
“There is something about the whole cycle of life a tree can represent, and this is why I think it is so lovely that you have come together to dedicate this particular tree in memory of loved ones, particularly ones who have gone to their eternal reward, and those you have lost in tragic circumstances, and many who have left these shores to seek a better life in other places,” she said.
Mayor Sheahan added: “Everybody somewhere has memories of loved ones who have passed away, or are abroad. We remember all of these people who gather here today.”
Theresa Ryan-Delahunty, who chairs the shrine committee had the honour of attaching the first memory tag to the tree.
Mayor Sheahan praised her, saying: “Her eyes are always bright and positive. There is a radiance that comes from this woman, and we can learn from the positivity in her face.”
Fr O’Byrne acknowledged people in the flood-affected estate had suffered greatly in the last year.
But, he added: “You are recovering. We think of these great things, of faith, hope and love. We know we have the love of God and the hope he gives us.”
To sponsor a light on the tree, contact St Mary’s AID at 061-318106.