By the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland and the Stone Foundation, USA.
Using stones gathered from all around the country, all four provinces of Ireland are represented in the sculpture, using a different stone type and style from each province.
The primary idea was to create a gathering point for people to congregate, and a circle seemed the most appropriate shape to use. The bi-vallate (twin walled) enclosure also reflects Ireland’s built heritage.
The ring fort is the most common archaeological site to be seen in the Irish landscape. The status of a ring fort is not only evident by its diameter but more significantly through the number of rings it contains. Therefore, a bi-vallate enclosure would often be the seat of the local lord or the central focal place for a network of ring forts which formed a community.
The outer wall symbolises the 4 provinces. Thus the Island of Ireland and all its people, with its many varying ways and vernacular styles, forms a comforting embrace around the 5th province. That 5th province once had a physical existence during the Iron Age and was known as Breifne. In addition, in this structure the 5th province also represents the individual, creativity, imagination and the Diaspora.
The structure represents the country of Ireland and a welcome home to the people who left and never returned. The outer walls embrace the creative mind, the millions of souls and talents who left our shores and spread their skills far and wide. It becomes entirely appropriate that the ‘Emigrant Stones’ should be laid in cruciform shape at the centre of the sculpture embracing people from all corners of the world.
All of the stone for this project has been donated by the proud people of Ireland and it is being built entirely by volunteers. There were also a number of stones donated from locations of historical significance to Irish people including Battery Park in New York, Breakwater quarry stone from Holyhead in Wales, stone from The Ffestiniog Railway in Wales as well as stones donated by the Dry Stone Wall Association of the UK.
The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland and the Stone Foundation, USA came together with the vision to invite the international community ‘home’ for a Gathering of Stones in the geographical centre of Ireland.
Come see the amazing sculptures inspired by Lough Boora’s landscape and heritage.
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