File photo: Milltown Church
A unique and special event takes place at Milltown Church at 7pm tonight with the unveiling of a special plaque dedicated to those who were buried in unmarked graves.
The young people in Milltown Foroige have worked hard to create a special place of remembrance and quiet contemplation for the families of infants who died before, during and after birth, but before they were baptised and therefore were laid to rest in unmarked graves, in unconsecrated ground, in secret and usually in the cover of darkness.
“Buried here also are victims of suicide, and strangers who died while passing through our community and had no family to bury them,” said a spokesperson.
“These were different times, sad times and the creation of this space will honour their memory and also give people a place to pray and remember loved ones that they never got to bring home.”
The teenagers designed a plaque, which will be unveiled in the Garden of Remembrance, and will plant a beautiful tree to represent the lives lost.
The tree will have to stay in a planter because unfortunately the group do not know where little babies have been buried.
A blanket of Snowdrops has also been planted though the whole area, and visible graves marked with crocuses. A seat will also be placed in the area for people to sit and pray and remember.
A community grant was made available to Milltown Foroige from Kildare County Council, but there has been so much help given from members of the community – Betty O Shea from the Bicentenary Project, Jack Dunne of Milltown Tidy Towns, Fergus O Hara and Hanlon Concrete, David Behan, Iron works; Pat Donohue, builder; Glennons, who donated the plaque; Jim O'Connor who donated the seat; Newbridge Rotary club and Woodies for donations of bulbs, and everyone who has given so readily of their time and energy.
“The prayer service will pay respects to each group buried there and everyone is welcome to attend, and the support of the community really appreciated,” added the spokesperson.
“It is a very sensitive area and the youth have dealt with it so well researching it and working on the Garden of Remembrance and the prayers and hymns for the service in an effort to make it a very special evening. Refreshments will be served in the school after the Service.”