Memorial Garden on track for August 30 opening

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The inspirational Coleraine mum behind the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden in Coleraine has revealed that it will officially open on August 30.

Andrea McAleese first floated the idea about the garden on her Facebook page over three years ago. Now her dream to have children, like her little daughter Roma remembered, is finally coming true.

Andrea sadly lost her daughter Roma when she was knocked down outside her Coleraine home seven years ago.

Located near Council headquarters at Cloonavin, Andrea believes the garden will be a place of peace and comfort for parents of children who have passed away too soon. Andrea,, who visited her little daughter’s grave every day for five years, says the garden will be a place for families to go and remember their children who are no longer with them.

Revealing more details about the project this week, Andrea said: “We have been working towards this for over three years, I am glad that we will be helping people, but I just wish that we didn’t have to do it,” she admitted.

The garden will contain stars which will have the names of children who have died. The stars cost £100 and will be engraved with the christian name of the child and their age.

“We have included a raised planting area for people who wish to remember children they have lost through miscarriage,” explained Andrea.

“This raised area as been added to the plans, and will be dedicated to those children who were lost through miscarriage or were still born.”

Wooden benches, made by the prisoners at Magilligan, can also be purchased by families at a cost of £45.

“Things are finally coming together, “told Andrea.

“We have been contacted by families in other parts of Northern Ireland, so we hope that maybe when our garden is completed we might be able to give other areas the blue print for our garden, and start helping other families out there.”

Andrea went on to thank the local building merchants who have donated materials for free or at a reduced cost for the garden: “People have been so generous, and I hope that during the official opening some of those who have donated will be able to attend and see the garden completed.” An information night will be held in early August for families wishing to find out more. Details to follow.