SOS to help finish ‘Butterfly Garden’ for children’s charity

A last-minute SOS has been issued by the organisers of a charity’s ‘Butterfly Garden’ for seriously ill children, scheduled to open in West Cork next weekend.

The garden designer behind the project says volunteers urgently need donations of building materials — 300 roof slates, 40 seven-by-two planks, and 10 four-by-three timbers, all of which are needed to complete the garden’s covered seating area which has a capacity for up to 300 people.

“We desperately need these additional supplies to complete our project,” said landscaper Dominick Cullinane, who has been working on the Butterfly Garden on the Sheeps’ Head Peninsula on a voluntary basis, with a dedicated group of volunteers since late 2014.

Volunteers are this week putting the final touches to the landscaped garden which will, it is hoped, raise much-needed funds for the LauraLynn House in Dublin. The children’s hospice looks after children with life-limiting conditions requiring palliative care and their families.

The Butterfly Garden, located in the village of Kilcrohane, features a number of eye-catching long, curved benches inlaid with tile mosaics in the shape of butterflies.

It is planted with butterfly-friendly flowers such as lavender and buddleia, and which features a spacious lawn and a stage for performers, and is set in the grounds of Eileen’s Bar in the heart of the village.

The venue will be formally launched on Saturday by Jane McKenna who, along with her husband Brendan, founded the LauraLynn Foundation in 2002 following the deaths of their daughters Laura and Lynn. In 2011, the couple helped establish LauraLynn House.

“It’s a lovely tribute to our daughters and to LauraLynn House,” Ms McKenna said. “It will benefit from monies raised which is great.”

The garden’s emphasis on a butterfly motif, she explained, was a reflection of the importance to LauraLynn House of that image. The butterfly is a symbol of peace and hope.

“I would like to express my huge thanks to everyone involved in the project — to Eileen and to Dominick Cullinane and to the many people who supported the building of the garden. People have been so kind in their support of Dominick and LauraLynn.”

Publican Eileen Lehane said she was delighted to see the facility open: “Any funds raised will be going to LauraLynn House,” she said.

From about 4pm on Saturday August 26 and through Sunday. August 27 a series of bands, playing for free, will perform at the garden. A number of raffles will be held over the weekend to raise money for the LauraLynn House.

The garden is expected to be opened on a number of occasions throughout the year to raise money for children with life-limiting conditions:

“The idea is that the garden will be used to raise funds for terminally-ill children,” Ms Lehane said.

“We are expecting to have a great weekend. There’s great excitement about it.”

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