Pebbles left in the UCD Garden of Remembrance as part of last week’s Remembrance Day are to be removed at the end of the month, following concerns that the stones may be vandalised.
The pebbles, which are being used to symbolise loved ones as part of the Please Talk campaign, will be returned to Killiney beach at the end of November. It was feared that the pebbles may be vandalised by students if left for a prolonged period of time.
Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Scott Ahearn, explained that while he couldn’t state the exact issues that were discussed, citing confidentially reasons, such a measure was one of many precautions taken by the Please Talk committee when organising the event.
“One of the issues that was brought up in the committee was if something was to happen like that [vandalism], we had to take precautionary measures,” Ahearn explained. “Now if something were to happen then, we’d probably gather the stones and I’d inform the students that they would be available sometime to pick up or if they choose not to, they’d be brought back to the beach where we collected them.”
He further elaborated that the committee had to take into consideration how students may respond or react to the idea and so decided to return the pebbles at the end of the month.
Ahearn also spoke about the concept of the rememberance ceremony at which the pebbles were laid, saying that he wanted to do arrange something unique and that would stand out from previous events. The idea of using pebbles derived from the Jewish religion where they are used instead of flowers to symbolise permanency.
By adapting this idea, Ahearn explained, the memory of those who have had a significant impact on our lives will live on. “You don’t lose touch with them,” he added. “They’re there and they’ll always be there within you so it’s a nice representation.”
Overall, Ahearn declared himself happy with how the event proceeded, saying that it was received “very positively” and that students reacted well to the initiative. He felt that the day was helpful for those who attended, proclaiming that “[it] allows for a sense of community for students to realise that there is support, there is something that they can come together for and that’s the most important thing.”
Remembrance Day was held on 2nd November to coincide with All Souls’ Day. Students were given the opportunity to paint a pebble which would represent a loved one that they had lost. The pebbles will be located in the Garden of Remembrance, situated behind the Tierney building, until the end of the month where they will either be taken by the students or returned to Killiney beach.