Graves of Bethany children 'located at Mount Jerome'


IT HAS been claimed that the graves of children who died at the Bethany mother and baby home in Dublin have been located in Mount Jerome Cemetery at Harold’s Cross.

The Bethany Home was run by evangelical members of the Church of Ireland but had no formal connection with that church. It operated at Blackhall Place in Dublin from 1921-34 and at Orwell Road, Rathgar, until it closed in 1972.

It was also a place of detention for women convicted of petty theft, prostitution, infanticide and birth concealment. In 1935-36 the home was required to register child mortality, under the Maternity Act of 1934.

According to Griffith College lecturer Niall Meehan, more than 40 children from the home were recorded as having died between March 1935 and December 1936, when the home had 19 babies resident on average per month.

The information was discovered in Bethany Home minutes by Mr Meehan who then traced the unnamed children to Mount Jerome Cemetery where most are said to be in adjoining unmarked common graves.

Next Wednesday at noon two men who were born at the home, Derek Leinster and Patrick Anderson-McQuoid, will stage a reading of the names of the children believed to have been buried at Mount Jerome.

They will also formally launch the Bethany Survivors’ Group and an appeal for a permanent memorial to be set up for those who did not survive at the home.