Seat a place of reflection

Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

The John Boyle O’Reilly Association has unveiled a reflection bench which will be placed near the memorial bearing his name.

Association vice-president Peter Murphy encouraged people to reflect on the life of Mr O’Reilly when they sat down at the bench.

“It is also a chance to reflect on the person who instigated the whole John O’Reilly story here in the South West back in the 1980s and that was Liam Barry,” he said.

“He was probably the pioneer of the John O’Reilly story where he actually got politicians and local government to take an interest in this amazing story regarding our convict heritage.

“It was Liam Barry who actually created more public awareness about this amazing story.”

Mr Murphy said the unveiling of the bench paid tribute to both Mr O’Reilly and Mr Barry.

“John Boyle O’Reilly being a poet, an author and a humanitarian, he put Dardanup on the international literary map all those years ago with his famous novel Moondyne,” he said.

“To pay homage to Liam and his family we decided to have the seat, which was a project actually started in the Bunbury prison by the inmates, and as you can see they have done a terrific job.

“We are hoping to put the seat on the walk trail where visitors can sit and reflect not just on John O’Reilly, but also on the work of Liam.”

The association will host a range of events this month, culminating in a concert by Damien Leith on March 24 at the Cube Theatre.

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