Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Olive Revisited

Amnesty Peace Tree, Cows Lane, 14/12/2006
Click on any image for a larger version

I was passing by Cows Lane again today so I thought I'd check out if Amnesty ever got round to putting the promised plaque on the olive tree.

On 14 December 2006, to great fanfare and the beating of Burundi drums, the tree was planted in a wooden container in the Lane. According to Amnesty, the tree had been given to an Amnesty activist by Yoko Ono.

The Amnesty invite described it as follows
Amnesty International invites you to lighting up of the Peace Tree to raise awareness of the human rights abuses in Darfur. There will be drumming bands and speakers from Darfur, returned from Sudan and bearing witness to the atrocities that are happening there. Join us for the ceremonial planting and lighting of the 300 year old Olive tree in Cows Lane (between Dame Street and Essex Street) at 6pm on Thursday 14th.

And indeed there was. It was a most impressive evening.



And the promise, on which I had been regularly checking for the last seven years?
It will be permanently located on Cow's Lane in Temple Bar with a plaque explaining its significance. It will be a constant reminder of the work Amnesty does here in Ireland and all over the globe.

So, what's the story then?

Well, the plaque finally arrived.


But where is Amnesty? Where is Yoko? Where is Darfur?

Not a trace?

The tree has now been dedicated to "the events of 1714" effectively celebrating the recapture of Barcelona from the Grand Alliance (Britain, Netherlands, Austria) by Franco-Spanish forces 300 years ago. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisín Quinn, did the needful, on 11/11/2013, in the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona. And the original donor of the tree, Bill Shipsey, who was not named in 2006, now figures on the plaque.

Two for the price of one, you might say. And I'll bet there's more of a story behind this.

Thanks to Extra-Extra Blog for blogging the original occasion and thereby preserving the record.

1 comment:

Póló said...

If you're looking for a precedent, I remember the Dún Laoghaire shopping centre was opened twice.

First by Liam Cosgrave, Taoiseach, and when it hadn't taken off but subsequently got a new anchor tenant, by Martin O'Donoghue, Minister for Economic Planning and Development.