The winner of a competition to design a memorial to victims of institutional abuse has been announced. Dublin architectural firm Studio Negri and the Waterford Partnership Hennessy & Associates have been awarded the commission for their entry entitled “Journey of Light”. The monument will be erected beside the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square in Dublin. The memorial project was recommended three years ago in the Ryan Report and was endorsed by the Dáil.
The winner was chosen by a ten-strong jury, which included two survivors of abuse.
But the organisation SOCA has criticised the project as premature, saying the religious had not paid their fair share of the State’s €1.3bn redress bill.
Spokesman John Kelly said that, in all conscience, he could not look at such a memorial as long as the survivors of Magdalene laundries and the Protestant Bethany Home were not compensated by church or State.
Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said the structure would “act as a testimony to one of the darkest chapters” in the State’s history and what society collectively allowed to happen to vulnerable children.
He said he hoped it would serve as a constant reminder that society must never let such horrendous crimes against children happen again and of the need to strive to protect all children here.
He was reminded that the Ryan Commission had also recommended that 18 religious congregations who ran the Catholic institutions should pay half the total compensation bill, estimated to run to €1.5bn.
Mr Quinn said progress towards this objective had been very slow and very unsatisfactory, because only one of the 18 congregations had accepted that they should make a 50-50 contribution and the others were “well shy of what was required”.
The outdoor monument will cost €500,000 to complete and its commissioning and delivery will be managed by the Office of Public Works.
Victims of abuse memorial unveiled in Dublin | Irish Examiner:
20 July, 2012 Ministers Quinn and Hayes announce winner of competition to provide a Memorial to the Victims of Institutional Abuse
The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., and the Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW), Brian Hayes T.D., today (Friday 20th July) announced the winner of a competition to provide a memorial to victims of institutional abuse as recommended in the Ryan Report and endorsed by Dáil Éireann.
Studio Negri and Hennessy & Associates have been awarded the commission for their entry Journey of Light.
Announcing the winner, Minister Quinn said, “As a strong advocate for the memorial to the victims of institutional abuse, I am pleased to announce the winning entry for the competition today.
“The Jury’s recommendation follows months of deliberations and consultation, including with representatives of the survivors of institutional abuse and a public consultation process.
“I believe that the winning entry, 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,” said the Minister.
The Ryan Report recommended the erection of a Memorial to victims of institutional abuse and noted the importance of the State’s formal recognition of the abuse and suffering being preserved in a permanent place.
The memorial will be erected adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, Dublin. The OPW is managing the commissioning and delivery of the project.
Minister Hayes said, “I would like to endorse what Minister Quinn has said and I am pleased that the OPW, on behalf of the Government, will have oversight and an administrative role in bringing this project to fruition.”
Following the consultation phase, the competition to design the memorial was launched in July 2011 and the Art Management Office of the OPW managed the process.
32 submissions were received and considered in Stage 1 of the competition from which 6 entries proceeded to Stage 2, where the Jury met with the competitors to discuss their more detailed and specific proposals for the Memorial. Following detailed discussions, the Jury has unanimously decided to award the commission to Studio Negri and Hennessy & Associates for their submission Journey of Light.
The budget for the project is €500,000.
The Ministers conveyed their appreciation to the members of the Jury and the Committee for their willing commitment and enthusiasm in participating in this important project.
Please see following link to artist’s impression of the winning design:
List of Jury Members
Description of winning Entry
The below is the winning applicant’s description of Journey of Light:
The proposed design reinforces the importance of State vigilance in protecting its most fragile members. It is not an attempt to find closure following the revelations of traumatic cases of child sexual abuse in Ireland. The proposal creates 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.
The Garden of Remembrance is composed of a sunken cruciform shape six foot below ground level with limestone walls, a large bronze sculpture of The Children of Lir on a podium and reflection pool along its main axis. The pool has mosaic patterns depicting the Celtic tradition of breaking weapons and casting them in a river to signify the end of hostilities. A cross axis links the forecourt of the Hugh Lane Gallery to the master-plan arrangement of the Rotunda Hospital.
The proposed design is an ordering principle originating where the axes intersect in the centre of the cruciform. The new geometry diverges to create a passageway through the existing podium steps and continue in line with the Irish flag to form a succession of spaces. The composition includes fossilised limestone walls and paving with a clearly defined forecourt entrance and a pedestrian crossing with semi-mature plane trees. This ensures the spirit and intent of the Parnell Square Framework Plan (2005) is respected. A universal design approach is applied to meet the needs of all users and level access is provided throughout the site for the first time.
Central to the design is the element of water which gently cascades over steel plates, symbolising the industrial schools in which many of the abuse cases occurred. The flowing of water represents a healing force for the victims and encourages calmness and contemplation in the viewer. The scale and proportion of the spaces conform to the needs of children and adults.
The State apology will be inscribed in English and Irish at a child’s eye level on the walls, and in Braille on a bronze plaque at the base of the water feature. An aperture placed below the flag directs a shaft of light to the centre of the inter-connecting space, acknowledging the ethereal sculpture above. A bronze bell inscribed on the floor recalls the conclusion of the legend – the ringing of a bell and transformation of the swans back to an aged human form. While the Children of Lir sculpture signifies rebirth and resurrection, it is simultaneously a representation of lost innocence and a vanished childhood.
The proposal compliments the historical setting and centripetally draws in a number of iconic sites within the context. Its auditory, tactile, visual and spatial elements offer a harmonious sensory experience which suggests a movement forward, while deeply inscribed by the knowledge of past events. Above all, it is an ethical link to the sacred ground of the State and a constant reminder that the abuse of our children must never happen again.
“Spokesman John Kelly said he could not look at such a memorial as long as the “survivors of Magdalene laundries and the Protestant Bethany Home were not compensated by church or State”.
John Kelly, has reneged, yet again, on his promise to include the Regina Ceoli hostel, where a solitary person campaigned for years to get it acknowledged. The government is cognisant of this fact. Shame on you!
I really welcome the memorial. It sounds amazing. To think that survivors will at long last be acknowledged for all the suffering they endured throughout their whole childhoods in their respective despicable institutions.
I was born at the Rotunda, little did I know then as I was carried out of the hospital that I would one fine day be looking into my future across the road.
I find it unfathomable that the media has given so little coverage to this very momentous happening in the lives of survivors of industrial *schools*?
The Irish government unveils the winning design of the memorial chosen for victims of institutional abuse in the Republic.
Memorial for Survivors of Institutional Abuse – Expressions of Interest. Memorial for Survivors of Institutional Abuse – Expressions of Interest …
Thu, Apr 11, 2013, 20:00
Dublin City Council’s planners are expected to approve the winning scheme for a memorial to victims of institutional abuse at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square after they receive further information on the €500,000 project.
All six shortlisted entries for an international competition — including the winning scheme, “Journey of Light”, by Dublin-based Studio Negri and Hennessy & Associates — were unveiled tonight by Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn.
The proposal for a memorial was made in the Ryan Report, which said it should “spotlight an episode of significance in the history of the State [and] provide a point of reference with sensory significance that keeps alive the memory of those who suffered loss and pain”.
After consulting with survivor groups, a memorial committee decided to hold an international competition to find the right design. From 32 entries, the shortlist of six was selected by a jury chaired by Sean Benton, former chairman of the Office of Public Works (OPW).
The site adjacent to the Garden of Remembrance was made available by the OPW for the project, which the memorial committee — appointed by Mr Quinn — said should be “an enduring symbol of lost innocence that inspires others to ensure the protection of all children”.
Mr Quinn said he believed the winning scheme would be “a testimony to one of the darkest chapters in our State’s history and … serve as a constant reminder that we must never let such horrendous crimes against children happen again”.
Frank McDonald, Irish Times Newspaper.