The Fairy Tree, Marlay Park - Paul O’Hare
Like all magical places, knowledge of it passes word of mouth or you stumble upon them quite by accident. Such are the ways that people find the Fairy Tree in Marlay Park. People don’t always know who started it, or why. Its just a home for the fairies, a place to post your innermost wishes, or leave little gifts for the “little people”.
The Fairy Tree was started by a dear friend and colleague Paul O’Hare who works as an art instructor with adults with learning disabilities in St Michael’s House, Templeogue. He began the project, under the blessing of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, with his students in March 2010 when he installed the top towers along with the little door at the base. That April they installed a small window with a table and a chair in the hollow. In August 2011 they added new towers and a staircase with the help of a Danish student doing a placement in the centre, Helena. In 2012 they added two fly towers and Gandolph’s tower set on the right wing and later that year a new opening door on the right side of the tree and started the process of installing solar lighting to light the interior. This year in April they installed the fairy bedroom with 3 horse shoe style windows.
Paul has a brilliant imagination and has great plans for the tree in the future. On my last visit the tree was covered in drawings that local children had left for the fairies, and parents have brought many a toddler to leave their soother for the fairies! But its not just children who are under the spell of the fairies as many adults leave their inner most wishes pinned to the tree for the fairies to grant.
So next time you are walking through the woodland area in the park, keep your eyes open for the towers in the top of the tree, it really is a magical place.