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Tree of Hope

The tree of hope is a national symbol of hope to families who have been affected by suicide,it is a landmark they can visit to grieve and remember the loved ones they have lost.

Dublin native, Noeleen Fullham, developed the idea when she found herself in a difficult time and wanted to provide others with a positive outlet.

“I have sadly lost loved ones to suicide and found myself in a dark place, I just couldn’t get my head around the loss, the anger, the whys and what ifs? I wasn’t in a place to go and call a help line so I would just go for long walks to try and clear my head. In March 2014,  I saw an advertisement from the National Tree Council of Ireland asking people to plant a tree for Tree Week and the idea came to me. I should plant a tree of hope, it would be a focal point in the community and a symbol of support to all affected by a suicide,” said Noeleen.

 As word spread, more people got in touch and wanted to have tree planting ceremony for their loved ones. Noeleen’s husband, Niall, and friend, Ashling, have now joined in as part of the tree of hope team and their goal is to turn it into an international symbol of hope for families affected by suicide. They have now planted 56 trees with a ceremony for each one. They have songs, poems and a balloon release to give hope to the families involved.

Tree Of Hope

Tree Of Hope Credit: Tree of Hope photography team

 “People visit the trees all the time, young children leave items under them for their mam or dad who may have sadly gone too soon and it is great healing for those children. The main message behind the tree of hope is that no one is alone in grief, I wished there was something like this for me when I was experiencing dark times, and I know I would have took time out there and knew someone cared,” she said.

The tree of hope has now spread to the Liberties, with a tree planted in January 2015 in Pimlico Green. Counsellor Criona Ni Dhailagh got in touch with the organisation and helped with the planting which was specifically for two liberty locals who passed, Ryan Dempsey and Shannon Kellerher. Over 250 locals turned up to take part in the ceremony and release balloons. Anyone in the Liberties area is welcome to visit the tree and leave messages or memorabilia for the people they have lost to suicide.

 The tree of hope have a Facebook page, where you can get in touch about planting a tree for a loved one or if you want to do your own, you can share your pictures and story with others affected. They supply everything themselves as it is a voluntary organisation but as there is a lack of tree donations, it is optional to pay a donation cost for the tree (€40).

 

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