Tuesday, December 4, 2012

National monument to be protected

Last night Dublin City Councillors voted in favour of this emergency motion (see below). Here is a situation where a State body, the OPW, whose role it is to protect national structure and heritage items, showing blatant disregard for the Garden of Remembrance.  The OPW's primary purpose is to ensure the protection of such monuments, yet having known that the Garden of Remembrance was not listed as a protected structure, instead of remedying this it had engaged in the process to completely undermining the integrity of this site by attempting to shoehorn a preposterous tunnel and water feature as a memorial to those that have experienced institutional abuse in this State. This whole action was aided and abetted by Dublin City Council and their lack of care of duty in ensuring that this particular site, the Garden of Remembrance, was protected under the record of protected structures.  It is ironic that the very monument they wanted to impose on on this site was to atone for their neglect and their lack of care for the children of this State.  Strange, or not strange, that same lack of care, and failure to protect was very evident with their disregard for the National monument site which they failed to protect in the first instance. However, Dublin City Councillors, came, albeit a bit late, to the rescue. Hopefully this ill conceived fake piece of 'architorture' will not find its place at the Garden of Remembrance.  The whole issue of a memorial to those who have experience institutional abuse and abuses in their childhood need greater public debate and engagement if we are really going to examine an appropriate way to deal with this issue.

In the meantime, it is premature and needs to be deferred or stopped entirely until the issue, that is, the global issue of child sexual abuse and other abuses of children in which Irish priests, clerics and religious orders were involved throughout the world have emerged, been given due examination and truth established.  Finally, a national memorial, is a serious issue for any society. Lets give this issue due regard.

Please sign the petition.  


Emergency Motion passed in Dublin City Council December 3rd 2012

With an impending decision by Dublin City Council planning department of a planning application for the building of a memorial to victims of institutional abuse on the site of the Garden of Remembrance and having regard to the national significance of this site as a memorial to the men and women who gave their lives to the cause for Irish freedom, we call on Dublin City Council to initiate a proceedure to declare this site a protected heritage structure of National importance. We also call on Dublin City Council to include the site as an architectural conservation area. At present this important national site is without protection in that it is not included on the Dublin City Council’s record of protected structures, nor is it included in a statutory architectural conservation area.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Row over Child abuse memorial - Article- Sunday Times Dec 2nd 2012

A plan to honour victims of institutional child abuse in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin is being opposed by campaigners,writes Siobhán Maguire.


The Department of Education and the Office of Public Works want to erect a memorial

at the garden on Parnell Square, as recommended in the Ryan report, published by a

commission into child abuse.

The chosen design, entitled Journey of Light, is by Studio Negri and Hennessy & Associates, an architectural firm in Dublin. It has divided groups representing survivors of child abuse who say the proposed location would link it to an existing memorial to Irish

freedom fighters. The base of the Spire on O’Connell Street or the grounds

of Leinster House on Kildare Street are among some of the alternative locations being

suggested by those objecting.

Mannix Flynn, an independent Dublin councillor, said such a memorial did not belong

at a location with strong links to church and state. “The crucifix that is at the centre of the

Garden of Remembrance, the sculpture of the Children of Lir and the Irish flag all form part of a cultural heritage that was deeply involved with the inhumane treatment of the children it now wishes to atone to through a memorial at this site,” he said. 

In his planning objection Nial Ring, another independent councillor, said: “Irish men and women who carried the vision of freedom and equality before them, and gave their lives as such, should not be tarnished with a memorial relating to a shameful part of Irish history. Both the fight for freedom and child abuse should be separately acknowledged.”

A planned revamp of the Garden of Remembrance, which was visited by Queen

Elizabeth last year, includes a €500,000 subterranean memorial, a covered walkway and a new civic area. The Irish Georgian Society, a conservation group, objected to

the memorial on the grounds that it “will provide a dank unsafe space which will attract

anti-social behaviour”.

The group wrote: “While the society is cognisant of the importance of creating such a

memorial, we strongly disagree with the location and configuration of the current proposal.

“Parnell Square is one of the finest of Dublin’s 18th-century urban set-pieces. Regrettably

over the years the area has experienced neglect which has led to the deterioration of many historic houses, while poor development decisions have resulted in a cluttered expansion of building and services in the Rotunda Hospital.” Alice Hanratty, an artist and member of Aosdana, the self selected academy of artists, said it was “astonishing” to put a memorial “in the sacred space set aside to honour those who

sacrificed their lives for our country’s freedom”.


 In September, Dublin city councillors backed a motion by Flynn to delay building of the memorial. The winning design, announced in July, is for a passageway

that will include the wording of the state’s apology to those who were abused while in its care.