John O’Mahony, a leading Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with Clonakilty Ambulance Service in Co Cork, died on September 16, 2005, when the ambulance he was driving crashed on the main Cork to Bandon road while transferring a patient.
Mr O’Mahony died at the scene. His colleague, Joe Tobin, was seriously injured.
The garden of remembrance was opened outside their ambulance station on the grounds of Mount Carmel Hospital in Clonakilty on Saturday — the first anniversary of Mr O’Mahony’s death.
The garden was designed by one of John’s station colleagues, Imelda Tobin, who, with the help of paramedics from city and county stations, funded the project.
Donations were also received from the HSE and the Clonakilty Red Cross.
A mosaic of The Star of Life — the universal medical symbol — is the focal point of the garden.
The colours of flowers and shrubs were chosen to represent the four elements of life.
Mr O’Mahony’s wife, Eleanor, his mother, Kitty, his sisters, Mary and Anne, his brother, Donal, and Mr Tobin were joined by hundreds of emergency service colleagues, members of the fire service, civil defence, Red Cross, and friends from all over the country for a mass in the hospital chapel. The garden was blessed after the ceremony.
A spokesperson for the O’Mahony family said they were very touched by the “beautiful tribute to John’s memory”.
They also thanked all those who have supported them over the last year.
Mr Tobin has returned to work and is preparing for EMT exams.
Mr O’Mahony served as ward manager at Mount Carmel hospital for 20 years before joining the ambulance service.
He was also a former chairman of Clonakilty Red Cross.