Sign On, Save the 'Children's Graveyards' of Ireland:UPDATE No $$$ have been spent on promoting this petition. Volunteer time only


Sign the petition here

We have reached our goal of 1,000 signatures with over 500 digital and over 500 in hard copy   Please continue to keep signing as more signatures helps to strengthen our case.  Thank's to all who signed from myself and Toni Maguire.

Cillini are to be found in every town land in Ireland and throughout the world where the Irish took the Catholic tradition of burial with them.  They were born out of the concept that a baby was not Christian until it was baptized and therefore not eligible in the eyes of the church to be buried in consecrated ground. 

Relatives often went under cover of darkness and buried the babies in the family plot or to a place they considered sacred which ran the gamut from a crossroads to abandoned churches, holy wells and even such places that were known in local lore to be associated with fairies and supernatural phenomena.  Strangers, mentally ill and people that were seen as being outside of society were also buried beyond the confines of consecrated ground. 

In a kinder, gentler society, the tradition has all but died out, but lasted longer in the more rural and deeply Catholic areas of Ireland.  Surprisingly, there have been cases reported as late as the 1980s. 

H.U.G. (Hidden in Unconsecrated Ground) was formed in 2011.  The group's goal is to find, record and mark the sites and the folklore associated with the burials and to bring some measure of closure to people who want to grieve openly for loved ones who were wrongfully interred.  The driving force in all of this is Toni Maguire, an archaeologist based in Milltown Cemetery in Belfast, where she has been overseeing excavations to find the interments, along with offering comfort to relatives and coordinating with the local diocese, all of her own volition.  Milltown Action Group play a huge role in this, too.  Sign the petition here.

View The Wild Geese live panel on Cillini and Magdalene Laundries, featuring Toni Maguiire. (March 2013)


Views: 1055

Tags: Faith, Folklore, Limbo, burial, cillini, unconsecrated

Founding Member
Comment by Nollaig 2016 on July 2, 2013 at 12:47pm
Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on July 2, 2013 at 5:06pm

This is a children's graveyard we can see from our house here in Indreabhán in Connemara.  It sits right on the shore of Galway Bay, with the highest tides of the year crashing right up to this little plot of land.  Our neighbours told me a local man took it upon himself to do something about the  sad state of affairs where the bodies of children long-buried were being washed out to sea as the land eroded during the highest tides.  He built a stone retaining wall and erected the cross to mark the spot of the children's graves.

Comment by Bit Devine on July 2, 2013 at 5:24pm

Petition signed...

Ryan, thanks for sharing the photos... and bless the man who built the wall and erected the cross

Founding Member
Comment by Nollaig 2016 on July 3, 2013 at 8:33pm

Bit thank you so much.  Ryan, wonderful images.  Would you put them on your FB site with the story so I can share it?  Belinda :)

Comment by Séamas Ó Donnghaile on July 13, 2013 at 5:09pm

Tá sé dóchreidte amach is amach go bhfuil a leithéid go fóill ann, eadhon, caint ar an chosaint atá de dhíth ar an cheallúnach (Dineen Dictionary: ceallamhnach = a place where unbaptised children are buried) ... now for Béalra (yes, 'Béalra' ... the name of the English language (lit. 'gibberish') in Ireland ... céallúnaigh should be not only marked clearly but held as monuments to how the greatest friends (ie The Catholic Church) of the colonial powers (not a million millions miles from the Emerald Isle) treated its own people ... some might ask - What has changed? (I, of course, exclude Cardinal Ó Fiaich, Frs Raymond Murray, Des Wilson, Alec Reid and others of the richest human fibre from this)

Founding Member
Comment by Nollaig 2016 on August 2, 2013 at 9:42pm

Update: 367 signatures online and over 200 in hard copy puts us over halfway to our goal of 1,000 :)

Comment by Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill on August 3, 2013 at 6:24am

There is a cillín in almost every district of Ireland. Monuments are sometimes erected but then neglected. They are marked on OS maps but can be difficult to find as often they are a mere clump of rocks.

Comment by Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill on August 3, 2013 at 6:32am

@Seamas. Nílim 100% cinte agus aistrím 'Béarla' mar 'lip speak' go hiondúíl. Nach mbaineann sibh úsáíd as an bhfocal 'cillín'?

priests were not necessarily friend of the British- one only has to think of Father Murphy, One of the leaders of '98. The christian Brothers also did  a lot to promote the Irish language.

Founding Member
Comment by Nollaig 2016 on August 12, 2013 at 11:58am

Founding Member
Comment by Nollaig 2016 on August 12, 2013 at 11:59am


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