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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 23 August, 2014

Permission refused for Garden of Remembrance memorial to abuse victims

There were plans in place to have ‘Journey of Light’ erected by 2014.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

AN BORD PLEANÁLA has refused to grant permission for a memorial dedicated to abuse victims to be built at the Garden of Remembrance.

In its ruling today, the planning authority upheld an appeal by conservationists who had submitted strong objections to the location of the memorial within the grounds.

An Bord Pleanála said the proposed development – which had been given the green light by Dublin City Council – was contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

Describing the site as a place of national importance, the board said the ‘Journey of Light’ memorial would adversely impact on its character, setting and function.

  • Download the full inspector’s report here.

If given the go ahead, the memorial would also have detracted from the architectural coherence of the space, damage it legibility and significantly transform the area from what was originally conceived, continued the planners.

The €500,000 memorial, revealed in July 2012 following a recommendation in the Ryan Report, was met with a mixed reaction from survivors. Those not in favour of the plans said it was inappropriate to place one memorial in the same space as another.

“We are astonished that this appalling proposition emanated from one of our Government’s agencies. It could only have come from a group of people who have a profound contempt for Ireland and Irish patriotism, and also for the victims of child abuse in the State’s institutions,” said Alice Hanratty and the other apellants today.

“An Bord’s decision ensures that the proper respect and homage called for by An Uachtaran at last Sunday’s ceremony for those who laid down their lives for Ireland is maintained; that our National Memorial is afforded the dignity that the people of Ireland require it to have, and that it is not the subject of unseemly controversy now or in the future,” they added.

Although the importance of creating a memorial to commemorate victims of institutional abuse was acknowledged, the decision of the appeals board means the project will now not go ahead.

Read: Disability access for Garden of Remembrance to be addressed

More: Memorial for abuse victims unveiled

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