Gardaí expecting to hear from Bessborough survivors

Gardaí expecting to hear from Bessborough survivors
An emotional Catherine Coffey, Cork and Ann O'Gorman from Limerick speaking at the recent candlelight vigil at Bessborough House in Cork. Picture: Howard Crowdy

GARDAÍ in Cork are expecting to receive complaints from women who had been in Bessborough mother and baby home following this week’s Commission of Investigation report.

The report highlighted that the burial places of just 64 out of more than 900 children believed to have died in Bessborough or in hospital after being transferred from there between 1922 and 1998 were established.

One woman lodged a report with gardaí in recent weeks in a bid to find where her baby daughter’s remains are.

Flowers and toys seen on the railings of Bessborough House during the recent candlelight vigil. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Flowers and toys seen on the railings of Bessborough House during the recent candlelight vigil. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Yesterday evening, the woman, Ann O’Gorman from Limerick, joined several other women who had been in the mother and baby home for a vigil at the gates of Bessborough yesterday in memory of the children who had died there.

Garda sources said that further complaints could be sparked now because of the revelations in the report.

One source said the passage of time could make any investigation difficult because former staff at the home could be either dead or not well enough to provide accurate information.

In recent weeks, Ann O’Gorman made a missing person’s report to gardaí in Cork city, about her baby girl Evelyn. She can still recall hearing the baby cry immediately after she was born, but she was sedated after a traumatic birth and was told three days later that her baby had died. She has never been able to find where her daughter is buried and now wonders if she is dead or alive.

The commission report stated: “The vast majority of children who died in Bessborough are not buried there; it seems that only one child is buried there. More than 900 children died in Bessborough or in hospital after being transferred from Bessborough. Despite very extensive inquiries and searches, the Commission has been able to establish the burial place of only 64 children.”

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