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War Memorial Gardens

Located in Islandbridge Dublin along the banks of the River Liffey stand The Irish National War Memorial Gardens.

It was first proposed in 1919 to build a memorial to commemorate the 49,000 Irish troops who died in the war to end all wars.

After an impasse on the location of the site that lasted up until December 1930,the site in Islandbridge which was previously known as Longmeadows Estates was chosen.

Designed by the eminent designer of war memorials Sir Edward Lutyens the construction was carried out by a workforce that was split 50/50 between British and Irish veterans of WW1.

It was due to be opened in July 1939 but the imminent threat of war lead to this being called off and to this day it has never been officially opened.


By the 1970’s it had fallen in disrepair becoming both a Irish Travellers site and a Dublin County Council rubbish dump because of the Irish peoples disdain at the time for any part of Irish history relating to Britain.

A cultural shift in the mid 1980’s regarding pre revolution Irish history and the desire to fight urbandecay in Dublin lead to the renovation and reopening of the Memorial Gardens in 1988.


Since 2006 the gardens have been the site of several official ceremonies including the laying of wreaths in 2011 by the then President Mary McAleese and Queen Elizabeth II during the first state visit of a British Monarch to the Irish Republic.


“We have found safety with all things undying,
    The winds, and morning, tears of men and mirth,
The deep night, and birds singing, and clouds flying,
    And sleep, and freedom, and the autumnal earth.

War Sonnett II by Robert Brooke. 

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