Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Visitors to Circle of Life Garden during 2018

During 2018 the Circle of Life Garden hosted various visitors including many people from within the organ donation community itself as well as high profile personalities.

Currently ranked no. 4 of things to do in Galway on TripAdvisor, the Circle of Life Garden welcomes visitors from all over the world, and in the past few months played host to many people from within the organ donation community as well as dignitaries such as the Mayor of Chicago.

During his visit to Galway, which coincided with Organ Donor Awareness Week in early April, Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited the Circle of Life Garden and planted a yew tree in memory of organ donors worldwide. He was welcomed by Denis & Martina Goggin and Jim Egan, Director, Organ Donation & Transplant Ireland.

A yew tree was also planted by the TY students of the nearby Dominican Convent in Taylors Hill.

Isabel Terry from Cork who received a double lung and heart transplant late last year visited the garden in April.

The family of Orla O’Malley whose organs were donated following her tragic death in a car accident last year planted a rose bush in her memory and also donated €5,100 to the Foundation. This money was raised by Shane Warde, friend of the family, who ran the Connemarathon in memory of Orla, and to raise funds for the circle of Life Garden.


Forty-five members of the Roscommon Gardening Club visited the garden in May and advised on stocking the pond with an array of water plants, initiating a pond planting programme.

Chris Thomas from Sydney, Australia and President of the World Transplant Games Federation stopped off in Salthill to visit the Circle of Life Garden during a brief visit to Ireland in May.

The annual Anam Cara celebration of life event was held in the Garden in June and attended by parents, siblings and friends of children who have died.  The event included reflections and music and the placing of children’s names on a tree in the Anam Cara special area in the garden.


During the months of August and September visitors to the garden included:

Kirsten Lowe, daughter of Albertine from Carrick-on-Shannon, who organised a very special visit in memory of her mom whose organs were donated following her death two years ago. Kirsten and her dad, Chris, family and friends spent some time in the garden with Denis Goggin and planted a rose bush in Albertine’s memory.

Members of the Irish Heart & Lung Transplant Association also paid their annual visit to the garden, on wet September and were joined by Ken Mulkerins and his wife Pamela. Ken, a heart recipient of two years had cycled the 210 kilometres from Dublin to the Circle of Life Garden just two weeks previously in memory of his donor and to promote the importance of organ donation.

A visit to the garden by members of Ringtown GAA, Co. Westmeath, was organised by John & Thady Burke whose brother Padraic died some years ago while waiting for a lung transplant. The Burke family are regular visitors to the garden and very much support the work of Strange Boat Donor Foundation in promoting organ donation and in remembering organ donors and their families.

The Circle of Life Garden is a welcoming space for all visitors.

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