The Shame of Ireland
Lord Mayor attends Bethany Survivor’s ceremony at Mount Jerome
The Bethany Home Survivors 98 group held the First Commemoration at their Memorial Stone in Mount Jerome cemetery in Harold’s Cross, Dublin on the 22nd July 2015, for the 227 babies and children who died in the Bethany home.
Derek Leinster and bagpiper Robert Cameron led the survivors, supporters and their families to the Memorial from the Chapel. Daniel Mulvihill the man who designed the Memorial was there.
The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) were representing several Catholic survivors, groups and individual Mother and Baby homes similar to the Bethany Home such as the Castlepollard and Saint Patricks home groups, etc., who proudly stand in solidarity with their Protestant brothers and sisters. The survivors of the notorious Bethany Home have called upon the Government to immediately introduce a parallel scheme to offer Redress to the elderly Protestant survivors while there is still time. They also call upon the Government to include all Protestant survivors in the current Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes regardless of where they were born. This includes Westbank in Greystones, Ovoca House in Wicklow, Breamar House in Cork, and all others.
Derek Leinster said: “I would like to thank everybody who has helped me to make this possible. Thank you. It is over 93 years since these crimes occurred and the journey has been hard and painful. But we care now, as if it was yesterday”.
Paul Redmond of the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) said: “We are here today to support our Protestant brothers and sisters because we will not allow religion to divide us. We all suffered and there is no hierarchy of pain. The innocent babies and children in Mount Jerome and indeed all the Angel’s Plots around Ireland, were forgotten for decades but thanks to the efforts of pioneer campaigners like Derek Leinster, they will be now be remembered as victims of judgmental religions and an indifferent state that despised all single mothers and their innocent babies. Living survivors have a sacred duty to bear witness and will make sure our fallen crib mates are never forgotten again”.
The Bethany Home Survivors 98 group was founded in 1998 by Derek Leinster, a former inmate of the Bethany Home. Derek has worked tirelessly for Justice and Truth for 17 years including bringing the Bethany case all the way to the Cabinet Table in 2013 where the Cabinet refused an Apology and Redress but did offer to fund a Memorial to commemorate all the babies and children who died through neglect in the Bethany Home. Derek is an activist, researcher and author who has written two books about his experiences. He is widely respected and admired among the survivor community and holds the title of the very first person to campaign for truth and justice about any Mother and Baby home or related institution. Derek Leinster continues to fight for justice for all Protestant survivors and works in equal partnership with many Catholic groups representing Mother and Baby home survivors as well as all survivors of the forced separation of single mothers and their babies since the foundation of the state.
The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) is an umbrella group of several survivors groups including The Bethany Home Survivors 98 group. The representatives of the other groups strongly support their brothers and sisters in the Bethany Survivors 98 group and stand in solidarity with them.
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