A GARDEN of remembrance has been opened in Bawnmore to keep the memory of service users, who have passed on, alive.
Situated in front of the main building of the Brothers of Charity Bawnmore centre, the sensory garden was funded by three families. Two plaques have been erected in memory of Michael Bennis, Kileely and John Quane, Ennis Road.
John Curtin, area manager of Limerick community services, says the idea for the trellised garden came from a group of people getting together in Bawnmore.
Paddy and Patsy Bennis; Paddy and Peg Quane and Billy and Breda Talbot, Nenagh, and their extended families, donated the money and Pete Beaumount designed the garden.
Mr Curtin said it is a location for families to come and remember their loved ones. More families of service users, who have died, can also get plaques of their siblings or children erected.
“This is the first phase. A second garden is planned for behind the church,” said Mr Curtin, who thanked the three families for their generous donations to build the garden.
The first two plaques situated beside each other are for Michael and John and in life and death they will were close.
Michael’s brother, Paddy, said they knew each other well and had a lot in common.
“They are one big happy family in Bawnmore. They would have been going there together for years and were looked after very well,” said Mr Bennis.
The late Michael and John both had a deep love of rugby and passed away around the same time. Michael was 47 when he died.
“He was a great character and very clever. He was well known in Thomond park and loved rugby. He was a big Shannon supporter and went to all the matches.
“He often handed out oranges at half-time when it wasn’t so serious. He was well known in the pavilion after the matches where he would collect glasses and have the odd pint,” said Mr Bennis.
John’s father, Paddy Quane, said his son, who died aged just 26, was also a big rugby supporter.
“He was a fantastic young man. He loved sport and particularly rugby. He was a great supporter of Young Munster and of course Munster,” said Mr Quane.
“We were regular visitors to Tom Clifford Park and Thomond Park,” said Mr Quane, who was a founding member of Down Syndrome Limerick 40 years ago,” he added.
In May, a new resource room in Down Syndrome Limerick’s centre in Castletroy was named after John Quane.
Both families say the garden of remembrance is a wonderful development.
“It’s a beautiful garden and a lovely plaque. It will be a nice place to go to and will keep their memory alive,” said Mr Quane.
While Mr Bennis said: “The garden is lovely. People can just drive in and it is there for everyone to see. They’re very good to organise and build it. They’re great people in Bawnmore and they never forget you.”