A BIG Thank you from the DSWAI


'The Gathering of Stones' as the first major event of DSWAI was a real success with much being achieved.

One thing which was important to the committee was that the participants enjoyed the experience and went away with a sense of having achieved something. We feel that this goal was achieved and feedback from all the folk who took part has so far been very positive, with quite a few itching to get back to help put the finishing touches to the sculpture.


The Gathering of Stones is a concept far bigger than the collecting of rocks to build a sculpture. It is as much about people as it is about anything else.

Perhaps, even more so?

This was quite evident during the course of the 4 days during which the event took place with the arrival of many people from around the country to place a stone at the site or within the walls.The imagination of people has been captured by the project.


I believe one of the reasons for this is because 'real' people have been involved in the development of the project from day one.Thanks to all those who contributed by investing their ideas, time, stone, resources, money and belief in the project. We give you all our assurance that we will bring the project to completion soon.

With the appeal out of the way there are many many people the association wishes to thank from deep in our hearts.Those people are:


The builders

Padraig Larkin, Christian Helling, Ronan Crehan, Louise Price, Oisin Price, Eddie Farrelly, Nick Aitken, Sean Adcock, Sunny Wieler, Ken Curran, Joanna Williams, Lucy Warmington, Barry & Jacob Noyce, Frank Gleeson, Eamonn Carthy, Thomas Donnelly, Cait Fealty, Caitriona Fealty, Tom Parkin, Michele Carini, Richard Schrade, Victor Daly, Waldemar Wower, Fran Coady, Damian Williams, Karl Kennedy, Sandro Cafolla, Dariusz Jurkiewicz, Seamus May, Mark O’Loughlin, Malachy Sheehan, Helmut Schneider, Alex Panteleyenko, Charlie McFadden, Scott Hyslop, Shaun McFadden, Anne Holland, Simon Hickey, Lynne Hoare, Herbert O’Toole, Liam Friel and Liam Walsh


The organising committee

Nick Aitken, Tomas Lipps, Sunny Wieler, Eddie Farrelly, Ronan Crehan, Alex Panteleyenko, Ken Curran and Francis Coady


For contributing the Emigrant Stones and writing Whispering Stones Bobby Watt (RJW Cambell). You gave the boys a real lift.


For making sure the Emigrant Stones got to Montreal from Ottawa Danny Brennan and Pat Kelly.


For getting the Emigrant Stones across the Atlantic. John Lyons (Irish Shipping and Transport)




                                                   To the carvers for producing the four wonderful provincial crests:                                                      Julia Gebel (Leinster)

                                                   Christian Helling (Connacht)

                                                   Alex Panteleyenko (Ulster)

                                                   Victor Daly (Munster)



To all those who donated stone to the project:

DSWAI members would like to thank DSWA Wales Branches members for donating the quartzite boulder from the breakwater quarry at Holyhead and the railway sleeper block from the Festiniog Railway, delivered by hand through Sean Adcock.


Mick Kelly (a proud Connacht man from Roscommon living in nearby Kilcormac) for the many tons of Connacht limestone he hand-picked and delivered to us.


Rodger Deegan for the hours and hours of work he has (and continues to) put in to the project, plus the huge volumes of stone he donated. We could not have done it without him.


Niall and Michael at McKeon Stone in Stradbally for the beautiful dimension stone which will form part of the arches and building stone in the central feature as well as to be used in seating areas.


Breslin Stone in Donegal. For supplying the quartzite used in the Ulster wall.


Brian Kerrigan of Drimkeelin Sandstone from Donegal.for donating a truck load of Sandstone for the Ulster wall


David O'Connor of Liscannor Flagstone for donating building stone and those wonderful slabs of Liscannor to be used as further seating areas.


Joe Molloy (local farmer) for donating the fine Boora limestone from his farm.


The Sculpture Parklands staff, Thomas Egan, Rodger Deegan, Don O’Boyle, PJ and Mick Connelly. For believing in the concept, for their continuing support and enthusiasm through the grounds staff. For preparing the site so well and providing facilities for people over the weekend. Also, for excavating so many tons of lovely blue limestone used throughout the project.


Don O’Boyle for making the profiles and scaffolding and any other steel works we required.


Pat Dooley for hunting high and low in search of stone for the project.


Many thanks Pat.Tony Maher of Maher Stone Stradbally for donating (and delivering) the bags of lovely green Sandstone.


Kilkenny Blue limestone for giving us a small bit of their waste off-cuts.



To those who helped with transport:


Thank you to Sean Fox for transporting the Emigrant Stones from Irish Shipping's depot in Coolock to Lough Boora.


Thanks to Donal from Roscrea Express for moving stone for the association free of charge.


Thanks to Pauric and Enda Meehan of Meehan Brothers for hauling all that stone down from Donegal (close to 50 tons!).


Rodge Deegan and Mick Connolly of Bord na Mona for hauling all that stone from Cadamstown to the site.


To Bord na Mona themselves for moving the Boora stone from Jo Molloy’s farm and from various locations including McKeons in Stradbally as well other places locally to the site.


To those in the media who helped with promoting the event:Karen O’Grady from the Midland TribuneKatriona McFadden, Fergus, Derek, and all on RTE Radio 1’s The Mooney Show.Rebecca Kelly and the Irish Hospice Foundation for inviting us to be a part of their book on gathering events.Jim Finn at Tipp Fm for having us on the show


Thanks to Paul and all at Brix Workwear for donating our safety gear.


Thanks to Banagher Concrete for saving our lives with the heavy gauge re-inforcing bars to make our profiles for the inner valette.


To Kitty Curran for all her help with sending out endless press releases, letters and for her continuing help behind the scenes.


Many thanks to Tom Parkin, Tori and Christine for running the shop, meeting the public and being the information point for people.


Thanks a million for Tori for looking after the catering.


Thanks to Barry Bryan for cooking and serving the lunches.


A big thanks to Sean Corrigan (Corrigan’s Bar, Ferbane) for bringing us water, drinks, snacks and lots of delph and cutlery for serving the food onto.


Thank you to Dooleys' Hotel and The Maltings B&B, both in Birr, for looking after our participants very well and offering them generous discounts on accommodation and food.


A big thank you to all those who donate money or came down to the site and offered us words of encouragement or contributed a stone.


The organizing committee would like to thank very much their spouses, partners and family members for the support, patience and encouragement during the planning and delivery of the event. We love you all very much