Veteran peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy will plant a new cherry blossom 'Peace Tree' in Eyre Square this weekend to mark the 71st anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb, and to replace the original Peace Tree planted in 1982.
In 1982, the Galway Borough Council declared the city a nuclear free zone and a Peace Tree – a cherry blossom tree - was planted in Eyre Square to celebrate the passing of the resolution. However, during the square's renovation, the Peace Tree was removed and never replaced.
This Saturday at 2pm, Ms D’Arcy will officially plant a new cherry blossom 'Peace Tree', at an event organised by the Galway Alliance Against War, at which there will also be music, poetry and song. The event will also mark the 71st anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima on August 6 1945, which resulted in the deaths of between 70,000 and 146,000 civilians.
The GAAW is asking people to bring along paper peace lanterns and origami peace doves to hang on the trees in Eyre Square. GAAW spokesperson Niall Farrell said Galway “should mark the catastrophic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a warning of the dangers of war and Ireland’s role in them.”
Mr Farrell said: “Nuclear weapons haven’t gone away and in the present climate of 15 years of war in the Middle East and the simmering conflict in Eastern Europe their use could so easily come into play. Hiroshima and Nagasaki should be a warning to the world that planet earth could so easily be destroyed by the sheer folly of war.”