Meanwhile, At Bessborough

at | 24 Replies

Last week.

At the former Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork – which is one of the homes being examined by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation and where last month Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the commission examined the home’s burial plot but had not conducted a geophysical examination of the site…

“Maintenance work” reportedly began on a stone structure, known locally as the Castle Folly, which backs onto a burial plot on the grounds of the home.

Further to this…

This afternoon…

Donal O’Keefe tweetz:

This is the scene at Bessborough today.

Survivors and families believe there are hundreds of babies buried in the grounds of Bessborough.

The unannounced partial demolition – without planning permission – of the castle folly has caused huge distress, especially at a time when the grounds are up for sale for development.

Meanwhile, last week…

Conall Ó Fátharta, in The Irish Examiner, reported:

The Irish Examiner asked the Order [Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary] what company was carrying out the maintenance work and if any expert was on site to potentially identify issues of concern should they arise.

It declined to answer these questions stating that it had contacted the Commission and would “deal directly with the Commission on all related matters”.

Meanwhile…

How the ‘Castle Folly’ at Bessborough looked before…

Via 96FM Opinion Line

Related: Works underway on historical structure at Bessborough (Conall Ó Fátharta, The Irish Examiner, March 3, 2019)

24 thoughts on “Meanwhile, At Bessborough

  1. Cú Chulainn

    Well, at least we know where the bodies are buried. And that’s not meant to be a joke or even funny.

    Reply
  2. realPolithicks

    “The unannounced partial demolition – without planning permission ”

    Are there any laws in Ireland, and if the answer is yes are they ever enforced?

    Reply
  3. eoin

    How strange. I’m familiar with a similar decrepit building, of a similar height and age, which has become a hazard. The owners have erected 10 ft wire fencing around it, with big red “do not enter” signs. Wouldn’t this be the way to address any concerns at this site, until we’ve determined if there are unregistered corpses lying beneath?

    Reply
  4. Papi

    I’ll just drop this here. The last one specifically protects the folly as a National Inventory of Architectural Heriitage structure.
    (from https://www.corkcity.ie/en/media-folder/planning/mahon-local-area-plan-2014.pdf)
    Conservation
    Landscape Historic landscape, water,
    views, etc.
    Bessboro House and
    grounds, historic house
    landscapes and built
    elements, old railway
    corridor, Douglas Estuary,
    Lough Mahon, views of
    significance, and elements
    indicated in section 2.2:
    Historical Context.
    Conserve and enhance
    landscape assets, including
    those Landscape Preservation
    Zones and Areas of High
    Landscape Value set out in
    the Cork City Development
    Plan 2009-2015, and use
    them to create a strong
    sense of place and contribute
    to amenities in the area.

    Archaeology Sites protected by the
    Record of Monuments and
    Places (RMP), such as
    Bessboro House and
    Ringmahon Castle;
    Newly discovered Sites of
    archaeological significance
    (e.g. CO074-130 and
    CO075-083).
    Potential for insensitive
    development that affects
    the heritage assets and
    their setting.
    Conserve, enhance
    monument and setting.

    Record of
    Protected
    Structures
    (RPS)
    Ringmahon House, Bessboro
    House, Ursuline Convent.
    Potential for insensitive
    development that affects
    the heritage assets and
    their setting.
    Conserve and enhance.

    NIAH
    structures
    Bessboro Farm Buildings
    Bessboro Graveyard Folly
    Railway bridges
    Conservation and
    enhancement.
    Identification and
    protection of NIAH
    structures, and integration
    into development
    schemes.

    Reply
    1. Lurch

      You can’t demolish protected structures. This is a disgrace.
      So they have no respect for our heritage either. Thugs.

      Reply
    1. John Gibbs

      Very disturbing to see a beautiful structure as Castle Folly being bulldozed, what a shame or is it going to be rebuilt ?. I tried to find out more about the castle but had no joy.
      As a builder looking at the structure before it was knocked didn’t seem to have any cracks , at least from the perspective in the photo. Does its destruction have anything to do with the burial ground ?.
      Authorized by health and safety ?.
      Conall Ó Fátharta, in The Irish Examiner, reported:
      The Irish Examiner asked the Order [Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary] what company was carrying out the maintenance work and if any expert was on site to potentially identify issues of concern should they arise.
      It declined to answer these questions stating that it had contacted the Commission and would “deal directly with the Commission on all related.
      Are they hiding something, for what reason did they go to the expense of ordering demolition, am I missing something?.
      Here is my contribution

      The Ghost of Castle Folly

      I should have left here long ago
      I should have gone away
      While stone is heavy in its heart
      It does not like to stray
      My walls were tall they kissed the sky
      Foundations in the clay
      They tore me down and slaughtered time
      Now I must up and stray.

      Hark, listen to those distant sounds
      My ancestors in song
      Their carriages and sailing boats
      Once here have up and gone
      Gone off to find another shore
      Where they can be and stay
      I must be off and follow them
      I must be on my way.

      Alas when I have reached that land
      A far and distant shore
      My ancestors will welcome me
      And take me in for sure
      The news that I relate to them
      Will shake them to the core
      You tore me down and slaughtered time
      My walls they stand no more
      You tore me down and slaughtered time
      My walls they stand no more

      John Gibbs

      Reply
  5. John Gibbs

    Very disturbing to see a beautiful structure as Castle Folly being bulldozed, what a shame or is it going to be rebuilt ?. I tried to find out more about the castle but had no joy.
    As a builder looking at the structure before it was knocked didn’t seem to have any cracks , at least from the perspective in the photo. Does its destruction have anything to do with the burial ground ?.
    Authorized by health and safety ?.
    Conall Ó Fátharta, in The Irish Examiner, reported:
    The Irish Examiner asked the Order [Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary] what company was carrying out the maintenance work and if any expert was on site to potentially identify issues of concern should they arise.
    It declined to answer these questions stating that it had contacted the Commission and would “deal directly with the Commission on all related.
    Are they hiding something, for what reason did they go to the expense of ordering demolition, am I missing something?.
    Here is my contribution

    The Ghost of Castle Folly

    I should have left here long ago
    I should have gone away
    While stone is heavy in its heart
    It does not like to stray
    My walls were tall they kissed the sky
    Foundations in the clay
    They tore me down and slaughtered time
    Now I must up and stray.

    Hark, listen to those distant sounds
    My ancestors in song
    Their carriages and sailing boats
    Once here have up and gone
    Gone off to find another shore
    Where they can be and stay
    I must be off and follow them
    I must be on my way.

    Alas when I have reached that land
    A far and distant shore
    My ancestors will welcome me
    And take me in for sure
    The news that I relate to them
    Will shake them to the core
    You tore me down and slaughtered time
    My walls they stand no more
    You tore me down and slaughtered time
    My walls they stand no more

    John Gibbs

    Reply

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