5 Metal Galway Roses for Norwegian Memorial


Olwyn Onions, Michael McDonnell, Richard O'Flaherty & Peter Szászfai with the 5 Oslo-bound Galway metal roses
A bunch of five iron roses forged by a team of four Galway blacksmiths will this month form part of a unique sculpture memorial in Oslo dedicated to those that lost their lives in the city centre car bombing and the massacre on Utøya Island undertaken by the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik in July 2011.

The memorial was inspired by the roses that covered the streets of the country’s capital and carried by 150,000 participants in a march through Oslo that occurred within days of the atrocities in a public manifestation of national mourning towards the eighty five victims of the deadliest attack in Norway since World War Two.

The four Galway blacksmiths are part of the Cumann na bhFear volunteer group which operates a blacksmithy forge at their premises on Sandy Road in Galway city.
According to Cumann secretary Richard O’Flaherty, “Peter Szászfai, a member of the club, had heard about the public Facebook appeal initiated by two Norwegian blacksmiths Tobbe Malm and Tone Mörk Karlsrud, to metal artisans from across the world to send iron roses to Norway. 

So Peter, Olwyn Onions, Michael McDonnell and myself decided to answer the call and crafted five beautiful metal roses that will form part of a unique permanent collective memorial sculpture. The rose is a particularly apt theme as it symbolizes eternal love and well as being the emblem of the Norwegian Labour Party whose members at an island youth camp were gunned down by Anders Breivik soon after he detonated the car bomb in Oslo.
The Cumann na bhFear volunteer group is modelled on the Australian Men’s Shed movement. The primary role of the group is to encourage retired, working and unemployed men and women of all ages to help each other develop, learn and/or teach skills and crafts that can benefit themselves and the wider community. 
For further information on Cumann na bhFear check our their website

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