Kildare man Paul Dunne, rugby legend Tony Ward and Linda Keating of the Marie Keating Foundation.
A local Kildare gardner is behind a garden at the Bloom festival which aims to offer hope to people affected by cancer.
Called ‘Heroes of Hope’ the garden, which has a blue theme, was created by Paul Dunne Landscaping in conjunction with the Marie Keating Foundation.
The Heroes of Hope exhibition features positive stories of 14 cancer survivors from all around Ireland. The garden aims to have a positive and hopeful message highlighting the fact that thanks to early detection and advances in treatment, more and more men are surviving cancer.
The Marie Keating Foundation garden also highlights the Foundation’s men’s health campaign and its work with men.
Every year 10,948 men are diagnosed with cancer and the Foundation’s nursing team educates men and women on the signs and symptoms of the common cancers affecting men (prostate; colorectal; lung, skin and testicular cancers) and what steps they can take to reduce their risk of cancer.
Designer of the garden Paul Dunne explained that “the garden has been a wonderful challenge as well as an inspirational project.
“The focus and challenge is always to get men talking and my hope alongside that of the Marie Keating Foundation is that our "Heroes of Hope" garden will help kick start that conversation.”
Former Irish rugby international and one of the Heroes of Hope, Tony Ward, described the garden as “right on the mark”.
He was diagnosed in 2012 with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
“Machoism is a huge fault with men, certainly in this country,” he said at the launch of the Garden.
“Men don’t talk the talk and they certainly don’t walk the walk when it comes to anything health related. We are all very quick to put our car in for a service but we are very slow at doing the same for our bodies.
“The Marie Keating Heroes of Hope garden is right on the mark, it is designed to offer hope to people affected by cancer and inspire men to talk about their health.”
The Bloom festival runs this weekend at the Phoenix Park from yesterday, June 1 to Monday, June 5.
For more on the Marie Keating Foundation: PHOTO GALLERY: 'Biggest and best ever' Martin Earley Tour of Kildare
For more on Kildare people involved in Bloom: Maynooth nursing home sponsors special Bloom dementia garden