THE Cork Survivors and Supporters Alliance (CSSA) is to be bestowed with the 2021 Spirit of Mother Jones Award in recognition of its efforts to preserve a site marked as a childrens' burial ground at the former Bessborough estate.
The CSSA represents a group of survivors of the Bessborough Mother and Baby ‘Home’.
Following proposals for development on the grounds of Bessborough towards the end of 2020, the CSSA opposed the plans citing evidence for the location of a childrens’ burial ground on the Bessborough estate.
The Commission of Investigation into the Mothers and Baby Homes stated that it is “highly likely” that burials took place on the grounds.
An Bord Pleanála refused permission for the development on the grounds earlier this year saying that it would be “premature to grant permission for the proposed development prior to establishing whether there is a children’s burial ground located within the site and the extent of any such burial ground.”
The Cork Mother Jones Committee said the CSSA had shown “bravery and determination” to ensure that development does not take place on sensitive areas of the site.
Jim Nolan on behalf of the Cork Mother Jones Committee commented: “By their ongoing efforts and continuing campaign to seek the human right in accordance with common Irish tradition for a dignified burial place for those who died, for the preservation of the burial grounds, for the right of access to those grounds and for the creation of an appropriate memorialisation garden for the mothers and children at Bessborough, they have displayed the courage of their convictions and are worthy of the Spirit of Mother Jones award for 2021."
CSSA members Maureen Considine, Ann O’Gorman and Catherine Coffey O’Brien have agreed to accept the award on behalf of the members of the Alliance.
A discussion about the role of the CSSA and its contribution to the oral planning hearing will be shown on Saturday at 7pm on Cork Community Television as part of the online Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2021.
Further details at www.motherjonescork.com.