From Limerick City Council Chamber a number of lime trees can be seen standing tall against the gloomy backdrop of the sluggish Shannon River.
The branches are becoming increasingly bare now and whatever leaves remain are clinging to the branches, lest they fall and be carried away by the slow aching rhythm of the river below.
As silence fills the crestfallen Council Chamber, I can hear echoes of lilting Irish voices blowing in from Paris: “…it’s so lonely ‘round the Fields of Athenry,” they sing.
In this moment of silence, swelling and undulating quietly like the river which flows outside, one of the lime trees catches my attention. It is taller than all other trees in sight, it is brighter and more radiant, and its branches are close to full with bright greenery.
It’s in its pride of place.
The base of this sturdy tree is lined with leaves which have fallen from neighbouring trees, mournful and forlorn foliage, looking up admirably towards the tree which holds strong against the Autumnal breeze.
The leaves which hug the feet of this giant come in all shapes and sizes, and colours too: scarlet, musket brown, gold, and crimson.
The silence in the room is peaceful now and I quietly imagine the different colours of the leaves combining to recreate an almost natural tribute to this great stalwart they lie in comfort beneath. I am in awe.
My attention is directed back into the Chamber now. Disconsolate and pensive faces fill the room, heads hung like the boughs of the lime trees which have lost their leaves, flags at half-mast.
As the leaves continue to fall, that one tree remains resilient and unwavering. A memory in time.
Limerick Voice would like to offer its deepest condolences to the family of Anthony Foley. We cannot begin to imagine how difficult this must be for you at this hard time. Limerick sends its sympathies and mourns alongside you all.