The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, marked the 25th anniversary of Ardgillan Castle and Walled Garden opening to the public by planting a tree in a ceremony on Saturday, May 6.
President Higgins planted a native Irish Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) close to the Castle and the Walled Garden and not far from the Irish Oak Tree which was planted by President Mary Robinson in 1992 to mark the official opening of the facility to the public.
The ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Darragh Butler, the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid, elected members of Fingal County Council, members of the Oireachtas, members of the Ardgillan Board and other specially invited guests including members of the Taylour family for whom Ardgillan is their ancestral home.
To mark his visit, the Mayor presented President Higgins with a specially-commissioned bowl made from a beech tree grown on the Ardgillan estate while 12-year-old Lucy Mulvanny presented him with a bouquet of Ardgillan flowers.
The President was given a tour of the house by Fingal County Architect Fionnuala May and Ardgillan Castle Manager Tom Reilly and also a tour of the Walled Garden by Fingal County Council’s Senior Parks Superintendent Kevin Halpenny and Head Gardener Dominica McKevitt. He was also introduced to members of the house and gardening staff.