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  • Northside West

Phibsboro firefighters create garden memorial

Friday, 7th April, 2017 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Phibsboro firefighters create garden memorial

Firefighter Dave Timlin in the memorial garden at Phibsboro Fire Station.

Phibsboro firefighters create garden memorial

Firefighter Dave Timlin in the memorial garden at Phibsboro Fire Station.

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PHIBSBORO firefighters have created a beautiful memorial garden for all their fallen colleagues.

The lifesaving crew from B-Watch squad are a close-knit group, as you might expect from people who rely fully on each other and put their lives at risk every day to help others.

Three years ago, B Watch member Leon Rafferty passed away suddenly, prompting his colleagues to create a memorial for all firefighters who have passed away.

Leon’s death was the catalyst for the development of the memorial garden adjacent to the fire station and with help from the Tesco Community Fund, his colleagues set to work on the project.

B-Watch member, John Ryan, who has been a firefighter for ten year said the garden was a place of reflection and is meant to be used to celebrate life.

“It is designed so visitors can sit and take time out and enjoy this urban oasis of nature,” he added.

The creation of the garden was a true labour of love for the Phibsboro based firefighters, but it was a costly task in terms of both hours and finances.

Although most of the work on the memorial garden was done by the members of B-Watch, other watches contributed funds and time for the necessary big jobs.

A professional build for such a garden is estimated to have cost €10,000 but luckily the firefighters were happy to volunteer their time and efforts.

“We’d finish on nights and we’d all spend a few hours if there was a big job to be done, or else we’d come in early,” said John.

When funding became an issue the Tesco Community Fund came to the rescue.

To support their great work firefighters received a donation from the fund, which was used to buy plants and shrubs for the garden.

“It was great, because when we got involved in the fund, we had exhausted a lot of avenues,” said John.

“The Community Fund helped us complete the garden to the standard we had envisaged. We’re so aware of the fund now and of the power of the blue token.

“We would encourage any other local community projects that are in need to get involved.”

Area Community Champion for Tesco stores across North Dublin, Patricia Brady, said the supermarket chain was happy to help.

“We’re delighted to be able to support amazing local initiatives such as this memorial garden through the Tesco Community Fund,” she said.

“The fund is open to a wide variety of good causes or groups so if you think you know a local organisation that could benefit from some extra funding, please nominate them in store or online today.

“And don’t forget to vote for your preferred cause every time you shop using your blue token, because it really does make a difference.”

Tesco customers can fill out a nomination form in store and every eight weeks, three local causes will be selected for the Tesco Community Fund.

Customers can also nominate a cause online via www.tesco.ie/communityfund.

At the end of each phase, blue token votes are counted and up to €1,000 is shared proportionally between three local causes. 

Further information and criteria for entry is available on www.tesco.ie/communityfund.

B-Watch member, the late Leon Rafferty, helped inspire the community garden. Firefigthers from B-Watch squad in the new garden.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here