Geraldine Mullan ‘honoured’ that Sunflower Festival will pay tribute to her family

Geraldine Mullan has told how a Sunflower Festival dedicated to her family’s memory is an ‘amazing honour.’

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 11:13 am
Geraldine Mullan pictured with sunflowers made by Gaelscoil Riabhach, Co. Galway

The Moville woman’s husband John and children Tomás and Amelia sadly lost their lives in a road traffic collision last August.

The tragedy devastated the entire community, which has wrapped its arms around Geraldine and tried to provide her with much love and support.

In recent weeks, the Redcastle Village Association announced its annual Sunflower Festival will be held in memory of Amelia, Tomás and John. It is particularly appropriate as the family owned a popular garden centre and the children entered it last year.

Geraldine shows a pin that was given to Amelia's classmates, which poignantly features a sunflower.

The festival has had a huge response, with people planting sunflowers all over the world.

On Friday, the association held an event in Redcastle, at which they gave out pots, compost and sunflower seeds so people could grow the flowers at home.

Geraldine was in attendance at the event and told the Journal how delighted she is with the overwhelming response to the sunflower festival. “I’m so very appreciative of the love and support I have received since the accident and it allows me to try to get through every day without John, Tomás and Amelia.”

She added how John would be ‘delighted’ with the festival and how it is showcasing nature and growing, “There is new life being planted and everyone is getting out in nature.

“He was always saying about the benefits of nature and how it’s good for our physical and mental health. He loved being outdoors.”

Geraldine told how being at the event and the festival itself is ‘emotional’ as it brings back memories of her children’s involvement last year and their excitement over their growing sunflower. She expressed her thanks to Tanya McColgan and the Redcastle Village Association Committee and said she was ‘very touched’ by the gesture.

Geraldine added that while she has been left devastated by the loss of her husband, son and daughter, the community has also lost a well-known local man and two young children. She added that John was someone who would have helped his community and this has now ‘come full circle’ as they are helping her and honouring him and their children.

Tanya McColgan, of the Redcastle Village Association said she is ‘overwhelmed’ at the reaction to the festival.

“It’s a simple idea, but very effective and we have people from all over getting involved.”

She added that while the festival is remembering John, Tomás and Amelia, it is also a gesture of support to Geraldine. “In a way we are growing a bouquet for her.”

She added: “Typically, the flowers will bloom in August and we hope that these beautiful flowers will also become beacons of hope to Geraldine, letting her know that her friends and community hold her close. Wherever light is, sunflowers find it; their golden heads tracking the journey of the sun across the sky.

“Wouldn’t it be beautiful if we could grow them everywhere as a reminder that even in the darkest times, the sun still comes up?”