04 Oct 2022

Sean Ross Abbey group to host ceremony of remembrance to honour mothers and babies

Sean Ross Abbey group to host ceremony of remembrance to honour mothers and babies

Sean Ross Abbey group to host ceremony of remembrance to honour mothers and babies

An occasion of remembrance will take place at Sean Ross Abbey this Sunday, September 25, to pay respect to the women and children who came into contact with the Mother and Baby Home over the decades.

The event is being organised by the We Are Still Here Sean Ross Abbey Roscrea group, who have been working to uncover information lost over the years relating to the mothers and children that passed through the institution, while also seeking to ensure areas of the site where burials have taken place are preserved.

The assistance of Tipperary County Council has been invaluable, and a working group has been set up, consisting of members of the group and of Tipperary County Council, according to the group.

Since the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was published, many questions remain about the location of records pertaining to adoptions, deaths and burials at Sean Ross Abbey, they said.

In response to this, the We Are Still Here Sean Ross Abbey Roscrea group has been endeavouring to shed more light on these details.

During the Commission’s work, a small fraction of the Angels' plot was subject to a test excavation. Infant remains were discovered during those test excavations. The Commission has noted from these studies that a minimum of 42 possible individual remains were identified.

However, as the institutional records show that over 1,000 children born in or admitted to Sean Ross died in infancy or early childhood over the decades, much detail remains unresolved, they said.

In response to this, the group has recently been focusing on getting more ground scans on-site to ascertain the burials that took place at Sean Ross Abbey for which there are no records.

The group has been engaging with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth about the practicalities of getting this work carried out and financed.

The group is happy to report that significant progress is being made in this regard.

In the meantime, it is important to ensure that those who passed through Sean Ross Abbey, and those who passed away there over the years are remembered through a memorial on-site, and through regular occasions of remembrance.

It is expected that Sunday's event will be attended by people with links to the history of Sean Ross Abbey, with some who were adopted abroad coming back for the event.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald will speak at the ceremony.

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