The Old Tuam Society, in conjunction with Galway County Council, propose to undertake a survey of, and document all the Children’s Burial Grounds (lisheens or cillíns) in the parish of Tuam (rural and urban). While many burial grounds have been recorded by the Archaeological Survey of Ireland (ASI), it is apparent from fieldwork in other areas, and through local information provided by people in the Tuam area, that there are others that are unrecorded.
There are two fundamental reasons for undertaking this project:
1) To add them to Recorded of Monuments Places (RMP) and thus provide legal protection for them under the National Monuments Act.
2) To allow those with siblings or family members buried in one of these hidden graveyards the opportunity to participate in a formal and meaningful remembrance ceremony.
Many sites not recorded on the Record of Monuments and Places are, however, known to elderly parishioners but once they depart these will be lost from public memory. As these monuments can be difficult to detect, many will inevitably be destroyed with new owners acquiring land where they are located.
It is envisaged that a suitable commemorative plaque or stone tablet with a map bearing the location and name of each Children’s Burial Ground will be erected in a suitable place within the heart of the parish.
The Old Tuam Society would like to invite anyone with an interest in helping in this project to contact us and take part. Training will be provided by Dr. Christy Cunniffe of Galway Co. Co., and we are hoping for lots of help with this important project. Further details and dates will be published shortly.