Looking back - Planting a stick in 1988

As part of what will be a series of articles on our areas past, Donal O'Brollachain tells this fun story from an event 32 years ago in 1988.

A 4-year-old described the prize he won during the Griffith Avenue Millennium Walkabout in October 1988, as 'planting a stick'. Some Griffith Avenue residents organised this event to celebrate a new place made by Dublin Corporation just as our state was founded in 1922, as a community contribution to mark the 1,000 years since Dublin’s foundation in 988.

The late Éamonn_Mac_Thomáis was well known for his walking tours of Dublin. Crann sa Cathair was part of Crann’s contribution to Dublin’s Millennium.

Northside People gave notice of the event based on a Press Release which we issued and published a photo afterwards.

We walked between the two churches on Griffith Avenue – from St. Vincent de Paul to Corpus Christi. We took a collection to cover costs eg. a contribution to Éamonn MacThomáis, and hiring a loudhailer.

Éamonn told us about the history and development of the area. Yvonne told us about the different species of trees on Griffith Avenue and the importance of trees in urban spaces. 

As we were about to start, Yvonne Shields surprised us by announcing a competition for children. She asked them to make pictures using leaves gathered from the 10 different species planted in 1937. The first prize would be a tree!

About a month later (Sat 12 November 1988), Vincent Brady TD (then a Minister for State) presented the prizes in the Club Hall, High Park, Grace Park Road. In addition to the first prize of a Mountain Ash organised by Yvonne Shields, we presented books to the best in three age categories and a city forest poster to all other entrants.  

On that Saturday morning, I rang the winner’s family to let them know that they were getting a tree. Much to my surprise and delight, we were invited, without hesitation, to plant the tree in the back garden after the prize-giving. We were made most welcome with tea and cakes.

- Donal O'Brollachain
Drumcondra Resident and former AHAA Chairperson

Griffith Avenue Millennium Walkabout October 1988 - Promotional leaflet

Press Release promoting the walk

Coverage of the Walkabout in the Northside People - 19th October 1988


Griffith Avenue Tree Species planted about 1937

Vincent Brady TD and Yvonne Shields presenting a Mountain Ash

Preparing to plant the tree

Planting the tree


The tree 32 years later!