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To: Taoiseach/ Minister for Health/ Director General HSE Tony OBrien

Restore 1304 crosses and grave identities at St.Lomans Hospital Mullingar

Restore 1304 crosses and grave identities at St.Lomans Hospital Mullingar

We are calling on the Irish Government and Irish Government Authorities to honor the memory of 1304 deceased Irish Citizens lying in a mass grave on grounds of Irish Hospital - one of which is my great grandmother Julia Leonard (nee Caffrey).

Why is this important?

1304 deceased patients of St.Lomans Hospital Mullingar, County Westmeath are buried without individual grave markings - one of these is my great gran Julia Leronard (nee Caffrey). My family and I discovered this after our application to have her remains exhumed to be re-interred in a family plot was turned down.

Following this I visited the graveyard and discovered 1304 men and women including my great gran are in what has been allowed to become a mass grave. In 2011 the HSE sanctioned graveyard maintenance work resulting in - the removal of all the crosses marking each grave. I have heard these crosses are stored in a shed on the grounds of the hospital. The last person buried here was in 1970. These deceased patients were forgotten by Irish Society while interred in what was then known as the Asylum - I want to remember these people today and afford them some dignity and respect by marking their graves properly.

On February 6 2016 myself and my family erected our own cross in the memory of our great -gran/grandmother Julia on the mass grave site. We felt we needed to do something to honor her memory as Government Authorities are not doing anything.

We would like to see;
1.An expert Archaeologist hired to restore the graveyard
2.Restoration of the graveyard - meaning restoring the individual identity of all the graves i.e individual markers/crosses on each grave with the name of the person buried there and their date of birth and death.
3.Permanent memorial wall with all the names of the men and women buried there.
4.Exhumation of my great gran Julia - to be re-interred with the baby boy taken from her in the hospital - my grandfather.

I think as it stands it shows up ongoing discrimination in the area of mental health. If this graveyard was in the general community there would be outrage at headstones being removed and a graveyard being turned into a mass grave.

St. Loman's Hospital, Mullingar, Ireland

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • because its possible that have a relative buried there.
  • "I think as it stands it shows up ongoing discrimination in the area of mental health. If this graveyard was in the general community there would be outrage at headstones being removed and a graveyard being turned into a mass grave."
  • Because my grandmother is buried there and I can no longer put flowers on her grave as I don't know the exact spot where she is buried.

Updates

2016-07-22 23:49:02 +0100

http://www.westmeathexaminer.ie/news/roundup/articles/2016/07/07/4122688-st-lomans-main-building-set-to-be-sold/

2016-07-22 15:21:04 +0100

Hi All - I just learned that the HSE are considering selling St.Lomans Hospital Mullingar. This has been discussed in the Seanad - article appearing in Westmeath Examiner 9 July. This would explain the run around the HSE have given me over the last few months.

2016-03-04 23:57:04 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2016-02-15 19:21:03 +0000

Hello Everyone - last week on sat 6 February my family and I erected a simple white wooden cross in the mass grave where my great gran is buried at St.Lomans We put an inscription on the cross to Julia and laid some flowers beside it. We did this because we felt we needed to do something to honor the memory of Julia - now there is one cross back in the graveyard - however it is just in a symbolic spot as we still have no idea where she is buried. The mail on Sunday were kind enough to carry the story last Sunday and give us a bit more publicity for our campaign to restore the graveyard.

2016-02-02 19:34:59 +0000

500 signatures reached

2016-01-28 22:52:04 +0000

100 signatures reached

2016-01-28 12:21:32 +0000

I would like to let you know that this petition is very personal to me as my great gran Julia was buried in this graveyard after spending 22 years in St.Lomans - committed at 32 years of age by her husband when she was pregnant with my grandfather Christopher. Christopher was born in St.lomans and taken from Julia when he was a few weeks old. It is my wish and the wish of my family to find Julia's grave - have her remains exhumed and to be re-interred with her son Christopher in a family plot. When looking for Julia I discovered the now mass grave at St.Lomans and the fact that 1304 deceased patients of the hospital are buried in what was allowed to become a mass grave in 2011 because of maintenance works sanctioned by the HSE. My search for Julia has brought me to this bigger story of so many deceased patients buried without any dignity or respect on HSE grounds - these patients were forgotten by Irish Society during their lifetime and now are we to forget them in their death?

2016-01-25 12:25:17 +0000

50 signatures reached

2016-01-22 23:31:08 +0000

25 signatures reached

2016-01-22 18:34:43 +0000

10 signatures reached