A Dubliner whose father was murdered by republicans has welcomed a commemorative garden in the city for children killed in the Easter Rising, but says more needs to be done to recognise the impact of the Troubles upon children.
Dr Finian Fallon was only three when his father, Garda Richard Fallon, was shot dead by republican group Saor Eire while they robbed a Dublin bank in 1970.
He was speaking after the opening of the 1916 Children’s commemorative play garden at Merchant’s Quay in Dublin by Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe and Irish Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.
Dr Fallon said he welcomed the creation of the garden. “However, we also have a long way to go in the South in recognising the impact of the Troubles on children, and adults, across the islands,” he said.
“There remain many traumatised children, many of whom are now adults, in the South and in Northern Ireland who are still sadly awaiting the return of their fathers and mothers, who are never to return, or whose parents have come home very damaged.
“These victims also deserve the attention of the Irish government which has to date not cooperated authentically with the victims’ processes supposedly enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement.”
Kenny Donaldson of victims’ group South East Fermanagh Foundation has helped create memorial quilts for children killed in the Troubles, including some murdered by the UVF in the south.
“It is so important to remember the devastation terrorism and war can cause to young people,” he said. “We will be interested to see what the prevailing narrative will be for the 1916 Children’s Play Garden Project.
“Many innocent children were killed as a result of the uprising in Dublin and others who were caught up in waging violence, commanded by others who escaped having to get their own hands dirty.”