Mother and baby home campaigner honored with Mother Jones Award

A group of survivors at a mother and child home has been awarded this year’s Spirit mother jones Award for efforts to properly remember and memorialize the more than 800 children who died at the Cork Institute.



NS Cork Survivors and Supporters Alliance Awarded by the Spirit of Mother Jones Committee In recognition of its efforts to find out where 859 children belong Besborough Mother And Baby Home In black Rock buried in cork.

Jim Nolana, on behalf of Cork Mother Jones Committee, said CSSA Were deserving winners of the prize, which is given each year to individuals and groups that the committee considers best to the fighting spirit of Cork-born, American trade unionist and children’s rights activist, Mother Jones.



“We are pleased to announce that the Spirit of Mother Jones Award for 2021 has been awarded to members of the Cork Survivors and Supporters Alliance, who have campaigned for a proper memorial to the women and children buried in the grounds of Bassborough.

“In particular, the CSSA with their determination and bravery stopped recent plans to build apartments in sensitive areas of Bassborough Ground and through their efforts they discovered an Ordnance Survey map from 1950 that clearly marked Shows children’s burial ground.



“In addition to their actions, Alliance members, their experts and their legal team won oral planning hearings a board planla And the plan to protect the children’s graveyard convinced the inspector of the merits of his argument.

“Ultimately, by his relentless campaign to seek human right according to common Irish tradition for a respectable burial place for the dead, for the protection of burial grounds, for the right of access to those grounds and for the construction of a The appropriate memorial gardens for mothers and children in Besborough have demonstrated the courage of their convictions.”



A Commission of Inquiry report on Mother and Baby Homes, published in January 2021, found that some 923 infants associated with the Bessboro Mother and Baby Home died between 1922 when the home opened and 1998 when it closed.

But the Commission of Inquiry found burial records for only 64 of these children, the whereabouts of the remaining 859 remained a mystery and the CSSA argued strongly in a hearing en board Planla that it believed these children to be buried without was buried in the grounds of

CSSA expert witnesses, cartographers, john clarkin In a hearing last April told ABP that a Ordnance Survey Ireland A 1950 field trace map showed a notation for a children’s burial ground on the grounds of Bessborough, which he believed indicated the location where the children were buried.

Mr. Nolan noted that CSSA’s legal team and its witnesses convinced ABP to refuse permission to develop the grounds for the proposed development before establishing whether there was a children’s graveyard within the site. Giving permission would be “premature”.

Mr Nolan, who presented the award to Katherine Coffey O’Brien, said: “This now leaves some room to ensure that women and children are likely to be buried in the grounds of ‘highly likely’ to have a proper memorial.” ” an o gorman And Maureen Considine CSSA’s on Saturday.

Ms Considine told The Irish Times: “It’s a great pleasure to receive this award because it’s been a long campaign and it’s good that someone evokes the spirit of Mother Jones within us because I know myself, I draw inspiration from the women in the group who lived as well as Mother Jones, who survived the loss of her children.”

Mother Jones, aka Mary Harris, was born in Cork in 1837, but moved to America, where she became involved in labor unions and their activism, which is reflected in her call to workers, “For the dead Pray, fight like hell for the living”. She was hailed as “America’s Most Dangerous Woman”.

Past winners of the Spirit of Mother Jones Award include homeless campaigner Father Peter McVery, campaign advocate Gareth Pierce, hillsborough justice campaigner Margaret Aspinall And Sue Robertsanti-apartheid activist mary manning and child rights activist Louise O’Keefe.

Mother’s Spirit of the Year Jones Festival Runs from Thursday 25 November to Sunday 28 November and can be followed on line www.motherjonescork.com Or www.corkcommunitytv.ie,

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