by Laura Hannon
Rossmore Forest Park in Monaghan Town is a wondrous place for many – spending childhoods fumbling around between tree roots and over stepping-stones. A lot of us hold Rossmore so dear because of the nostalgia it resurfaces any time we visit. For these reasons, the people of Monaghan are very passionate about protecting and nurturing the park.
One such person is Sinead O’Reilly, originally from Killyconnigan and is now living in Sligo with her young family. Although Sinead lives this distance away, her enthusiasm and the influence it has had on Rossmore in recent times has been far from lacking. Sinead set up the Facebook page ‘Old Memories of Rossmore Park Monaghan’ and has been gathering bountiful information on the history of the place as well as facilitating a forum where people can share beautiful photographs, stories or memories. As well as this, Sinead, with her get-up-and-go attitude has been organising clean ups of the park, encouraging volunteers to gather and collect rubbish. Other initiatives to remove certain invasive species from different areas of the park such as the Himalayan Balsam are also successfully ongoing.
Most recently, Sinead and other volunteers have joined up with Noel Carney and the Restoration Committee’s efforts to restore the Mausoleum and the surrounding graveyard. Tremendous work was done on the last excursion in June. The viewing area was revarnished, the wall was picked and ready for pointing, moss and briars were removed from around the graves and graveyard and the Mausoleum itself was cleared of rubbish.
Significant work has been done to date and it is important not to lose momentum. The next volunteer day is organised for this Saturday, 12 August, meeting around the Mausoleum area for 11am approx. Everyone is welcome and your help would be so greatly appreciated. Time to give back to the park that has given us so much over the years.