Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Special Visitors to Circle of Life Garden

Over the past few months there have been many visitors to the Circle of Life Garden from all over Ireland and abroad, including some people with very personal reasons for their visits.

Circle of Life Garden is now very much recognised as a place of comfort and support for the organ donation community and of peace and reflection for all visitors. It is also ranked no 10 of 131 things to do in Galway on TripAdvisor and all of the reviews refer to the garden as a wonderful oasis of peace and tranquility.  For some people their visit very much focuses on the design, carvings, planting and general ambience, and for others it is a place of deep reflection and remembrance where they feel close to their loved ones. 

The Powell Famil with Denis & Martina Goggin

Earlier in the Summer the family of Karen Powell from Gurteen,  Co. Sligo visited the garden to remember Karen who was killed in a car crash in November last year and whose organs were donated for transplantation. They also presented a most generous donation of €4,475 which was raised from the proceeds of Karen's funeral and through fundraising carried out by the Eastern Harps GAA in Gurteen in Karen's memory.

Sandra Neff, Martina Goggin & John Barrett

On Monday, 5th September Sandra Neff, who with her family, donated her son, Taidhg's organs following a road crash in Bantry in October, 2013 visited the garden for the first time, accompanied by her partner, John Barrett, and her very good friend, Carol Swanson from Portland, Oregon. Taidhg Burke Neff, who was 32 when he died so tragically, was a gifted musician/songwriter with the well known Cork band, The Calvinists. His very good friend and fellow musician, Pa Curran subsequently wrote and released a song in Taidhg's memory called 'Unintentional Hero" which raised funds for the Circle of Life Garden and the Irish Kidney Association.

Martina, Maura Beatty, Hans Peter and Arlette

On Sunday, 11th September, Arlette and Hans Peter Riedo from Switzerland visited the garden. Arlette and Hans Peter are the parents of Manuela Riedo who was brutally murdered in Galway 9 years ago on her first week attending an English language school in the city. Each October Manuela's parents return to Galway to be close to where their 17 year old daughter spent her last hours. Through the Manuela Riedo Foundation which they set up in her memory, they raise funds to provide financial assistance to established charities and professional agencies/services in Ireland who provide practical and therapeutic support for victims of rape and sexual violence, and for their families.

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