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New artwork installed at site of 'Somebody's Child' exhibition in Temple Bar for Pope's visit

Images were posted on social media last night after the netting had been torn down.

Pope Francis.Pictured is a message to Pope Francis at Exchange Street.
Pope Francis.Pictured is a message to Pope Francis at Exchange Street.
Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

Updated Aug 23rd 2018, 5:40 PM

A NEW ART installation which will give the public an opportunity to see “exactly how the issue of child sexual abuse impacts on individuals” has been finished in Temple Bar, Dublin.

Netting had been placed around an installation  remembering children who died in Ireland’s Mother and Baby centres to allow for “a new response to Pope Francis’s visit” to be installed.

The temporary coverings include a number of victim impact reports from survivors of clerical sex abuse.

Images were posted on social media last night after the netting had been torn down amid concerns that the installation had been hidden ahead of the visit of Pope Francis this weekend.

The feature, which is located on the corner of Essex Street and Exchange Street in Temple Bar, had listed hundreds of names of children who were deemed ‘illegitimate’ by the State. It was unveiled by councillor Mannix Flynn in November 2016.

Writing in a blog post today, Flynn said that the protective netting he placed on the site “was torn down deliberately”.

“This netting was to allow us to put up a new response to Pope Francis’s visit,” he said.

The blog post contained images of temporary panels that he said would be placed on the art installation, which contained messages to the pope.

“A lot of hard work went into last night’s work and it all has to be redone today,” Flynn said.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Flynn said that the new temporary panels “gives the public an opportunity to see exactly how the issue of child sexual abuse impacts on individuals”.

“Again, we call on Pope Francis to kind of address these issues,” he said.

“We want to send this message out to the many Catholics who are coming into this country, the many Catholics who are in this country who will be going to the Pope’s visit and also the clerics who are, basically, again trying to avoid the issue and trying to spiritualise the issues.”

0111 Pope Francis_90552223 One of the panels of the new installation. Source: RollingNews.ie

Addressing those who tore down the netting, Flynn wrote in his blog post:

“I appreciate the concerns of people who thought that someone was covering up ‘Somebody’s Child’ work and Disband the Artane Band panels but the person who took the image and put up the blog last night inciting people to tear down the protective netting never bothered to ask me, as I was on the site putting up the net, what was happening,” he said.

Instead, they chose to incite others and attack the site. This is all time consuming and costly. So again, I invite anybody who has any concerns to come to the site today as we inaugurate the new temporary work.

He added during his conversation with TheJournal.ie that he was “very distressed” by the incident.

“I wasn’t expecting this kind of carry on.”

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