AN ‘insensitive planning application’ for the former Mother and Baby home in Bessborough in Cork city needs to be halted.
That’s according to Cork South West Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns who said it was ‘unbelievable’ that planning was even sought without a full forensic examination of the site.
Two planning applications have been lodged for 246 apartments on privately-owned land which was previously part of the Bessborough estate.
‘The Commission highlighted Bessborough and Tuam as two of the sites with major issues around burials,’ said the TD. ‘We know of 923 children that died at Bessborough, but the burial place of just 64 has been established. The Commission concluded that some of the hundreds of unaccounted-for children are probably buried on the grounds. The Cork Survivors and Supporters Alliance have made the reasonable request that the planning application be withdrawn pending further investigation.’
‘I am also seeking that the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien use his ministerial powers under the Planning Act to halt the developments and to pursue a compulsory purchase order (CPO) of the site as a place of national importance. Cork City Council is also exploring the CPO option, and I encourage them to do so speedily for the sake of survivors.’
• Mother and Baby Homes report reaction, p32.