Garden of Remembrance child abuse memorial 'demeaning'

Abuse memorial should not be linked to 1916 monument - Maureen O’Sullivan


Building a memorial to victims of institutional abuse at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin’s Parnell Square would be “demeaning” to abuse survivors Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan has said.

Ms O’Sullivan was speaking at a Bord Pleanála appeal hearing against the decision by Dublin City Council to give permission to the Office of Public Works for the memorial beside Oisín Kelly’s Children of Lir monument commemorating the 1916 Rising. It was “totally inappropriate” that there would be any interference with the 1916 monument, Ms O’Sullivan said.

The monument was proving “divisive and stressful” for survivors, she added.

“It is demeaning to the survivors not to give them their own space but to ask them to share with a memorial that is celebratory. And it is demeaning to those who fought for the principles of democracy, our independence, to ask them to share with this dark chapter of abuse.”

The Journey of Light was chosen in July last year as the memorial for abuse victims by a committee set up by the Department of Education following the recommendation of the Ryan Report. If it secures planning permission it is expected to take two years to build.