Thursday 26 April 2018

Car park plan for Glasnevin pauper's burial site slammed as 'deeply insensitive and insulting'

Memorials and gravestones are seen reflected on a sculpture at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Photo: REUTERS
Memorials and gravestones are seen reflected on a sculpture at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Photo: REUTERS
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Plans by Glasnevin Trust to build a car park and chapel over the unmarked 'paupers' graves of thousands of stillborn babies and destitute children and adults buried more than a century ago have been labelled "deeply insensitive and insulting to any life".

The historic Dublin cemetery proposes to build a chapel on the burial site at St Paul's to commemorate 232 citizens who died during the 1916 Rising who are interred at the site, as well as a 68-space car park, reflective pool and walled garden.

A trust spokesman said no decision has been made on whether it will proceed.

Dublin City Council refused planning permission last May, saying the development is on "a highly sensitive site consisting of a known and historic burial ground containing approximately 3,900 burials" and contravenes its policy to "preserve known burial grounds and disused historic graveyards... to ensure that human remains are re-interred".

However, the council granted permission for the project in November, with a number of conditions.

But former Dublin city councillor Mary Fitzpatrick lodged a formal objection.

"The proposal to build any structure or car park on the graves of over 3,000 children is insensitive and disrespectful. Historic details of the burials on these lands show that it is the final resting place of infants and babies, many of whom died from neglect," Ms Fitzpatrick said.

"These are largely forgotten children deprived of any dignity in life, buried in paupers' graves and should not be denied further dignity in death.

"It's deeply insensitive and insulting to any life," she told the Irish Independent.

Irish Independent

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