Blacksmiths create roses for Norway massacre memorial
IRISH blacksmiths have created nearly two dozen iron roses which will form part of a memorial to the 77 people killed in atrocities in Norway.
In the days that followed the atrocities by extremist Anders Behring Breivik on July 22, the streets of the capital, Oslo, were covered with roses as people mourned the loss of life.
Some 150,000 people carried roses when they took part in a march in Oslo three days after the killings to show their solidarity with those who died.
The rose is also the symbol of the Norwegian Labour party, whose youth camp members were gunned down by him on Utoya island after he earlier detonated the Oslo bomb.
"There was no hesitation when we were asked to make a rose each," said blacksmith Gerard Loughran, who forged his rose from mild steel.
The roses look like they are made from black velvet, but they are far from fragile.
They will become part of some 500 roses that will be used to create the permanent memorial to those who died.
The Irish blacksmiths got involved after they were contacted by two of their colleagues in Oslo, Tobbe Malm and Tone Karlsrud, who sent out a global appeal to their fellow blacksmiths.