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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019
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Memorial for abuse victims unveiled

‘Journey of Light’ will be erected at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin over the next two years.

The winning design for the new memorial
The winning design for the new memorial
Image: Department of Education

THE VICTIMS OF “one of the darkest chapters” in Ireland’s history are to have a memorial erected in their names as a formal recognition of their suffering by the State.

Minister Ruairí Quinn unveiled the design of the €500,000 project at a press conference yesterday. The Journal of Light memorial will be erected next to the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square in Dublin over the next two years.

The design by Studo Negri and Hennessy & Associates was announced as the winning entry of a competition to provide the memorial to victims of institutional abuse as recommended in the Ryan Report.

Quinn said that he believes Journey of Light will “act as a testimony to one of the darkest chapters in our State’s history and what we collectively as a society allowed to happen to vulnerable children”.

I hope it will serve as a constant reminder that we must never let such horrendous crimes against children happen again and we must strive to protect all of our children.

The Ryan Report also noted the importance of the State’s formal recognition of the abuse and suffering being preserved in a permanent place.

The State apology to victims will be inscribed in English and Irish at a child’s level on the walls and in Braille on a bronze plaque at the base of a water feature.

The monument will also include a lighted walkway and trees. The architects said their proposed design reinforces the importance of State vigilance in protecting its most fragile members. They were clear that it was not an attempt to “find closure” following the revelations of child sex abuse in Ireland.

The design hopes to create a “fluid progression between the Garden of Remembrance, which commemorates those who died for the cause of Irish freedom, with a memorial dedicated to the young victims of abuse”.

Junior Minister Brian Hayes with Ruairí Quinn at the press conference yesterday.

Speaking at the press conference yesterday, Minister Quinn said he was not satisfied with the lack of co-operation from religious congregations in providing redress costs for survivors.

The Irish Times reports that he called their progress so far as “very slow” given that only one of the 18 had accepted the Ryan Report recommendation of a 50:50 contribution.

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