An Gairdín Ecology Centre

Parks & Gardens
Contact Information

In 1994, a small group of us Mercy Sisters in Clonfert Diocese came together to find new ways of expressing their commitment to the Earth. They were awakening to the vision of Earth as a living organism, a great web of interconnectedness and interdependent life. They share the desire to rediscover together who we humans are like a strand of this magnificent web. You could say they shared the desire to ‘come home’ to Earth after a long absence. And so An Gáirdín was born. At that time the site of the Rural Domestic School here in Portumna, which had taught agriculture and traditional crafts and skills for a hundred years, became available to them. "To make again a garden of this place” (Elisabeth Roberts) became their motto as they set out to learn to live in communion with one another and with the great diversity of life around us. The garden needed some rest and healing following its years of generous production. It had time to lie fallow and renew itself before they began to do some organic growing. Hens and ducks were welcomed back. A house was built on the site of the old dairy using carefully sourced natural, renewable, and recycled material, and a geo-thermal ground source heating system was installed the geo-thermal, a very new technology then. Currently, the Education Programme and the Organic Growing are facilitated by a team of six people, two of whom are Mercy Sisters. As the need arises they call on volunteers. A small group of those who share An Gáirdín’s vision meet regularly for support, study, and reflection.