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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 19 October, 2018
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Over 70 babies who died at Bethany Home - and one mother - to be named on new memorial stone

The stone will be unveiled next week.

Mount Jerome
Mount Jerome
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

A NEW HEADSTONE bearing the names of children – and one mum – who died in the Bethany Home mother and baby home will be erected in Dublin’s Mount Jerome cemetery next week.

It’s being put up by the Bethany Home Survivors Group, and founder Derek Leinster said the stone will be an addition to the existing memorial in the cemetery. The memorials mark the death of hundreds of children who were at the home and subsequently buried in unmarked graves at Mount Jerome.

“There is no room on our current memorial for any existing Bethany Home people so we’re having to have a new flat stone and that’s being prepared as we speak,” he said.

He said they are putting over 70 more names on the flat stone, which will be polished granite. According to Leinster, the stone will recognise the mothers of Bethany Home. “We’ve actually found two Bethany Home mothers that died,” he said. One of the mothers will be named on the stone. It’s understood she died in childbirth of blood loss, and that her child died five weeks later.

“So I thought it was fitting to have her looking after all of these little ones,” said Leinster.

“I knew there’d been mothers who died in the Bethany Home but we’d never come across one [before],” he said.

He said that it is a work in progress to get all of the names of Bethany Home people buried in Mount Jerome named on the gravestone.

“It is a huge task,” said Leinster. “It’s a work in progress as far as I am concerned, it’s an untold story and to be honest with you we’ve only touched on the tip of the iceberg. It’s like chucking a stone into a pond, the circles get bigger.”

Leinster added that he has done all of this research work “without getting a penny from the State”.

At the ceremony, a white dove will be released as they “remember the little ones that lost their lives in The Bethany Home”.

The event will also see children from the Smyly Homes, Miss Carr’s Home, the Magdalen Asylum and the Irish Church missions remembered. It will take place on Friday 29 June at 4pm at Mount Jerome in Harold’s Cross.

“It is important that we do this while we can because, as time goes by, there are fewer of us able to attend,” said Leinster.

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