Remembering 9/11:Ireland's Twin Towers replica in memory of Irish-American firefighter with roots in local village
Irish History

Remembering 9/11:Ireland's Twin Towers replica in memory of Irish-American firefighter with roots in local village

ON THE 11th of September, 2001, the world changed utterly.

This Saturday, the United States will mourn the almost 3000 innocent people who were killed in the deadly terror attack, which saw more than 6,000 people injured, countless families heartbroken, and which forever changed the iconic New York skyline.

It would also go on to spark the beginning of the 'War on Terror', which itself caused untold pain and suffering.

Ireland, always a trusted ally of the United States thanks in part to the estimated 32 million Americans with Irish ancestry, mourned with the US; seven Irish residents were killed when the Twin Towers were struck, along with many Irish-Americans.

In the days leading to the 20th anniversary of the devastating attacks, The Irish Post is reflecting on the lives lost and how the world reacted, both at the time and since.

In the village of Donadea, County Kildare, a rural area 40 kilometres from the city of Dublin, stands a sombre memorial to the lives lost in the Twin Tower attacks.

Nestled in the quiet wilderness of Donadea Forest Park, a scale replica of the New York Twin Towers can be found, engraved with the name of the 402 public officials who were among the thousands killed on that fateful day, including firefighters and police officers.

(Image: James Lawless TD)

First announced by then-Mayor Michael Fitzpatrick, the stone memorial was unveiled two years after the terrorist attacks, in a special ceremony on Sunday, 21 September 2003.

The catastrophe, felt around the world, holds a special significance for the people of Donadea: One of the firefighters who lost his life trying to save those inside the first tower was Seán Tallon, an Irish-American man whose family had emigrated from Donadea.

Seán, along with 343 of his colleagues, died when the North Tower fell.

(Kildare.ie)

Seán's friends and family still live in the small rural community, and the Donadea 9/11 Committee was established to remember Seán and his bravery forevermore; the memorial was erected in a specially prepared copse of newly planted native Oak saplings, which will grow to maturity and live on for well over 100 years.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in 2003, Mayor Fitzpatrick said: "We wanted to do something to remember Sean and his colleagues and all the other public officials who died that day.

"This wonderful memorial is the result."