Order puts second mother and baby home up for sale

The religious order which ran the Sean Ross Abbey mother and baby home has put a large part of the campus up for sale, just six months after placing the Bessborough mother and baby home in Cork on the market.

Order puts second mother and baby home up for sale

The site, in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, comprises of a wide range of institutional, residential, and other buildings including Corville House, woodland, farmland and a historic walled garden. The guide price is €1.25m.

The cemeteries in which children and sisters are buried will not be included in the sale and will continue to be maintained by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. This will include future cemetery access for those who have a connection with the former mother and baby home.

The premises accommodating St Anne’s Special School, together with an additional area of land to permit further expansion of the school in the future, will also be excluded from the sale.

In a statement, the order said the planned sale was part of ongoing “restructuring and rationalisation”, which involved “examining our capacity to run various services and manage property into the future”.

“The disposal of these lands is part of an ongoing planning process for our mission throughout the whole congregation,” said a statement.

It comes just six months after the order confirmed that it intends to sell the Bessborough campus. The order also ran the Castlepollard mother and baby home. This site was purchased and taken over by the Midland Health Board in 1970.

All three mother and baby homes are included in the current Mother and Baby Home inquiry.

The Irish Examinerhas previously revealed that death registers containing almost 800 names of infants who died in Bessborough and Sean Ross Abbey were handed over to the HSE by the nuns in 2011 — three years before the Tuam babies scandal made worldwide headlines.

In the case of Bessborough, the register shows that 470 infants and 10 women died there between 1934 and 1953. A total of 273 deaths come in just a six-year period between 1939 and 1944.

The Sean Ross Abbey register lists 269 deaths between 1934 and 1967.

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