Saturday, 18th November 2017
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Fabulous Lafcadio Hearn Gardens, Tramore, to open this Friday

This ceremony will take place on Friday, 26 June, in the Lafcadio Hearn Gardens, Tramore. Guests of honour will include His Excellency, Chihiro Atsumi, the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland; and the great grandson of Lafcadio Hearn, Professor Bon Koizumi, who is travelling with his wife, Shoko, from Japan for the ceremony.

The inspiration for these garden arose from the visit of Professor Koizumi to Ireland, and Tramore, in 2012.

THE PROJECT

This unique 2.5-acre garden is a homage to the life and work of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, Japan’s most famous Irishman.

He lived there from 1890-1904 and became known as Japan’s great interpreter to western world. His writings are taught in Japanese schools today. He assumed the Japanese name of Koizumi Yakumo, by which he is known throughout Japan to this day.

The Lafcadio Hearn Gardens project was developed and managed by Tramore Development Trust Limited, in partnership with Waterford Council, on a site in the heart of Tramore town. Phase 2 of the project, which will continue in the coming year, will see the construction of a number of ornamental garden structures. The project received a significant boost in April 2014 when the Japanese JEC fund announced that it has been awarded the highest grant of 48 allocated worldwide that year. Work commenced on site on 27 June, 2014, and the tight time frame of one year to complete this phase of the work was a condition of the JEC funding.

Although a newly developed garden, due to nature features of the site, the garden already has achieved sufficient maturity to make it an outstanding visitor attraction. The gardens were designed and developed by Martin Curran Design, with the assistance of the Tramore Community Employment Scheme. The quality of the design and work is widely acknowledged as being outstanding.

The garden is expected to be a major tourist attraction, as well as a resource to the town of Tramore. The project has already attracted interest and support from Japan. The City of Matsue and the Koizumi family have pledged gifts to the garden and to the proposed Cultural Centre to be build there. Japanese media has already covered the project.

Hearn’s life story is related through a series of gardens, ranging from the Victorian garden of his childhood, to a prairie garden reflecting his years in America, a small Greek garden, the Japanese ‘Arrival’ garden, and a number of other areas reflecting his life’s work. The garden has very attractive rock and water features, appropriate to the Japanese love of these design elements.

Phase 2 of the project, expected to commence later this year.

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