Candle lit vigil at Bessborough this evening

Candle lit vigil at Bessborough this evening
Bessborough, Cork.Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

A candlelit vigil will take place at the gates of Bessborough this evening in memory of the more than 900 babies who died there or in hospital after being transferred from there.

At 6pm, a gathering will take place at the gates with candles and flowers, following the publication on Wednesday of the commission of investigation’s report on mother and baby homes including the one at Bessborough.

The 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.”

The report added: “The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who owned and ran Bessborough do not know where the other children are buried.”

And it said: “The Commission finds this very difficult to comprehend as Bessborough was a mother and baby home for the duration covered by the Commission (1922-1998) and the congregation was involved with it for all of this time.”

Labour spokesperson on justice and children and youth affairs Seán Sherlock TD has said the report raises more questions than answers.

He said: “Is the door now being closed on geo-thermal and geo-physical testing on the site? The minister [Katherine Zappone] should provide further clarity on what is proposed for Bessborough given that burials did take place there.

“We need to hear from how the Government proposes to respond to the recently discovered map showing a burial plot at the fringes of the site towards the N40?”

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