Opened in 2006, the IOSAS (Island Of Saints And Scholars) Celtic Prayer Garden is situated on the Donegal side of the border with Derry. It is set in six acres of natural bog land and its purpose is two-fold. Firstly, to honour the men and women of Ireland’s golden age of the 5th to 12th centuries and secondly, to renew interest in the characteristics of Celtic spirituality so that using them, the visitor will also be renewed.
The Celtic Peace Garden at the IOSAS Centre is the culmination of the Columba Community's work of reconciliation over the past 20 years. It is built near The White Oaks Centre and brings serenity and healing to visitors and to the residents of the centre.
The garden is inspired by the 5th to 12th Century spiritual renaissance in Europe, which followed the fall of the Roman Empire. The garden, with its representations of the Cross of Patrick, the Boat of Brendan, the Island of Columba and the Oratory of Canice, inspires visitors to a spiritual re-awakening and renewal following the recent troubles in this land. Also, a rough pathway round the perimeter of the garden affords Christian pilgrims ample opportunity for reflective prayer.
The video of the Celtic saints shown at the visitor centre introduces the pilgrim to the elements of the spirituality of Ireland's golden age. The centre contains a gift shop, coffee shop, a meeting/dining space for groups on retreat and for visitors and also has bathroom facilities. The gift shop stocks a variety of products as well as some hand crafted work done by the residents and tutors of White Oaks Rehabilitation Centre.