KT

No response to request for memorial

The burials were carried out in the immediate shadow of the giant Pugin-designed cathedral, alongside the giant Californian Redwood tree which becomes the Tree of Light every Christmas
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

THERE has been a repeated call for the provision of a suitable memorial to remember all the children who were buried in the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral during the Famine.

Cllr Donal Grady said it would be an appropriate and lasting tribute to those who died in such dreadful circumstances and it would properly mark the spot where the remains of the children were laid to rest.

He first raised the matter this time last year when has asked Killarney Municipal District Council to engage with the diocese but, he noted this week, the Bishop of Kerry’s office had not replied to the correspondence.

Cllr Donal Grady: No reply from diocese

The burials were carried out in the immediate shadow of the giant Pugin-designed cathedral, alongside the giant Californian Redwood tree which becomes the Tree of Light every Christmas.

The construction of the Augustus Welby Pugin designed cathedral had to stop from 1848 to 1853 because of the savagery of the Famine and Cllr Grady said the priests of the parish did everything possible to help the people.

“They turned the cathedral into a hospital and they buried the children on the grounds,” he said.

There is a small plaque in place near the Californian Redwood tree but, Cllr Grady, said something more significant and suitable is required to outline the history.

“I go down there a lot of days to say a prayer for the little babies under the tree,” he remarked.

Cllr Grady this week asked council officials to write once again to the diocese seeking its thoughts on the issue

Council official said they would liaise with the relevant parties.