Suggestions sought for Gaoth Dobhair’s ‘Oasis of Peace’

THE people of Gaoth Dobhair are being asked to come up suggestions for the location for an ‘Oasis of Peace’ sculpture.
The communal reflection space in the heart of the community will be in remembrance of those who have died suddenly and tragically down through the years.
Ms Máire Uí Chomhaill, Bainisteoir, Ionad Naomh Pádraig, Dobhar, who is spearheading the project, said that the Oasis of Peace sculpture is for anyone who has lost a loved one.
“It’s an idea I first seen when I was abroad and thought it would be something really nice to take home with me. It’s always struck me how difficult it must be for parents to cope with losing a child. I was speaking to a friend the other day who has suffered such a loss and she said that the world carries out while she is stuck in the same spot,” Ms Uí Chomhaill said.
“All too often in this area you see people who are heart broken. So many children have been lost to cancer, suicide and road traffic accidents and you think to yourself that it’s not natural,” she added.
Last year, the proceeds of the local Ionad Naomh Pádraig 50/50 draw helped to fund a football pitch to the rear of the community centre. Half of the money raised each week from now on will go towards funding a sculpture creation.
“It will be an oasis of peace, spirituality, comfort and solace for parents, guardians, family members and friends of our dear young people who live on in the hearts and memories of their loved ones and in that of the extended community.
“We firmly believe that there is a deep need for such a focal point in the heart of our community. A place of tranquillity, rest and contemplation for inner-peace, amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A place to inspire and empower both young and old to focus on and care for their mental health and well being,” she said.
Ionad Naomh Pádraig is a busy place and Ms Uí Chomhaill feels that it is not the right location for such a piece.
“We have a sculptor in mind to do the work and it’s down to the final stages of that process at the moment. We’re moving ahead with the project and we’re now asking for the people of the local community to help.
“We would like the people of Gaoth Dobhair to choose a location for the sculpture. It doesn’t have to be in the vicinity of the community centre. It might be along the beach or on one of walk ways in the parish.
“We’re trying to give back to the community and we’ll leave it to them to help us find a space,” she said.
“Too many young people in the area have died. There’s people out there struggling with mental health issues but this is to say that there’s always someone there to listen, that there are people who care. This will be somewhere for people to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and just sit and forget about things for a while,” she added.

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