Memorial for survivors of institutional abuse at Garden of Remembrance gets planning permission

Cllr Mannix Flynn maintains it is simply too soon given the ongoing nature of abuse allegations and investigations

A model of the Garden of Remembrance, in Dublin’s Parnell Square, showing the proposed ‘Journey of Light’ memorial to victims of institutional abuse in Ireland

A model of the Garden of Remembrance, in Dublin’s Parnell Square, showing the proposed ‘Journey of Light’ memorial to victims of institutional abuse in Ireland

 


Planning permission has been granted for a memorial to survivors of institutional abuse at Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance, reigniting debate as to whether the move might be premature.

Cllr Mannix Flynn maintains it is simply too soon given the ongoing nature of abuse allegations and investigations, not to mention the wider question surrounding compensation.

Conversely, other survivors insist the monument is not only essential but long overdue.

The €500,000 Journey of Light memorial, designed by Dublin-based studio Negri and Hennessy & Associates, has been green-lighted by planners at Dublin City Council but will now almost certainly be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

It will feature a passageway, lit at night with “gently cascading” waterfalls at the rear of Oisin Kelly’s Children of Lir monument, in line with the Irish flag, and with a State apology inscribed at a child’s eye level.

The memorial was recommended in the Ryan report and involved consultation with survivors’ groups.

“It’s inappropriate because it is premature and an awful lot of people who instigated this treatment of children haven’t actually accepted or admitted their responsibility,” said Mr Flynn. “I am not suggesting that we should not have a memorial in the future but at this particular time it isn’t appropriate. There are outstanding issues, including the Magdalene women.”

Mr Flynn, a former resident of industrial schools, also said the monument would reflect negatively on the Garden of Remembrance, which commemorates those who fought and died for Irish freedom.