A Galway man has created pens from burnt wood salvaged from the rubble of the Sacre Coeur in Salthill, as a special memento of the iconic hotel.
The hotel burned to the ground earlier this year and the ruins were later demolished, marking the end of an era for the Dunleavy family.
Woodturner Eamonn Fitzgerald created the special pens for the family. “I upcycled some of the old porch timbers of the Sacre Coeur Hotel into pens,” he explained.
The Galway native, who started woodturning in 2010, said he uses the tagline ‘Turning Soul into Wood’ as he puts his heart and soul into making every pen.
“I believe it is part of the healing process for the family as they all have a piece of the old hotel in their pockets,” he added.
Valerie Dunleavy, daughter of Eugene Dunleavy and niece of Sean Dunleavy, who owned the hotel, said the Sacre Coeur was more than just a hotel for her family and having a memento now is “really special”.
“Eamonn reached out when he saw we were very upset about the fire and the subsequent demolition. The pens were his idea and it means so much to our family,” she said.
Ms Dunleavy commissioned ten pens from the local woodturner and it is believed they are made from the wood of the original door in the entranceway.
“It’s fantastic to have something that is a permanent reminder, something that is portable and usable, because I was joking with my parents saying I must get a brick or something but you’d do nothing with it, whereas with the pen you will,” she said.
Ms Dunleavy has since distributed the pens to her family, including her cousin Keith, who has recently opened The Nest Boutique Hostel in Salthill.
She described the pens as “a piece of nostalgia”.
“He’s the next generation, so I pointedly got one made for him and he uses it daily now checking in the new guests. I was so touched,” she explained.
“It’s having a piece of the old going in to the new.”