Calls to rename Cork's Bishop Lucey Park in wake of Mother and Baby homes report

Calls to rename Cork's Bishop Lucey Park in wake of Mother and Baby homes report

Bishop Lucey Park.

GREEN Party Cork City councillors have suggested that it may be appropriate to rename Bishop Lucey Park and certain other place names in the city in light of the publication of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes final report.

The party has also suggested that Cork City Council should engage with survivors to determine how best they can be supported in the wake of the devastating report.

The suggestions were outlined in a letter to the Lord Mayor, Joe Kavanagh, written by Cork City North East councillor Oliver Moran on behalf of his party colleagues at city council.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Moran said the primary focus of the letter was to ask what the city council’s response to the report is.

“First on that is to ask what supports we can give to survivors.

“One of the immediate things in the publication of the report was making sure that survivors have access to a paper copy of that.

“The Department has begun issuing copies but, once we leave the lockdown situation and libraries are open again, there will a paper copy of the report available in Cork city libraries.

Bishop Lucey Park on Grand Parade. Photo credit: Breda Graham
Bishop Lucey Park on Grand Parade. Photo credit: Breda Graham

“There are other functions that Cork City Council do that are important and relevant here, such as the archival service and the heritage officer that can work with survivor groups to address their needs but I think we should begin engaging with survivor groups to see what supports and response Cork City Council can do,” he said.

Mr Moran said it may also be appropriate for Cork City Council to issue an apology to survivors.

“Throughout the report where the report refers to the local health authority, that is in fact in Cork, Cork City Council. Cork City Council was the local health authority for much of the period that the report is about so there is a question of what is Cork City Council’s responsibility for the period,” he said.

“Galway County Council is expected to make an apology on Monday. Kilkenny County Council have made an apology already. I think that’s something which we should consider in Cork but also I think we need to consult with survivor groups on how they would like us to address that,” Mr Moran continued.

The letter also suggested that certain place names in the city, named after individuals or institutions mentioned in the report, may warrant renaming.

“There are names of institutions and people who are named in the report which are street names and which are place names and whether it’s still appropriate that places in our city should still be named after them or whether we should name them something else now,” he said.

“Bishop Lucey Park is one of them. It is something which is almost an immediate question because we are going to be redeveloping Bishop Lucey Park in the very near term and it does raise the question of whether it is still appropriate to have the park named after someone who is named in this report,” he said.

“It should form part of a rounded discussion on these things. I think it’s important that the survivor groups are central in that discussion.” In the letter, Mr Moran asked that the topic be put on the agenda of a meeting of party whips on Monday.

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