Recovering: Mapping the Spatial Presence of Ghosts at an Unmarked Burial Site in County Cork, Ireland


  • Rachel Andrews NUI Galway


This article invites readers to reflect on the unmarked Famine Graveyard on Carr’s Hill, County Cork, where around 30,000 famine victims are buried, along – it is likely – with the remains of many children whose mothers were in the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home in Cork. Deep mapping provides the methodological blueprint for the exploration of this site, and the article will draw on the work of Gordon, Till and others, in its consideration of the process of deep mapping as a means of creating “the spaces and times for ghosts” (Till, 2010 p.7). The article contextualizes the project with reference to key works in culture (visual arts, literature) and it documents the author's own mixed ethnographic and artistic research methods, which include the process of writing live on site. It argues that the inclusion of a creative non-fiction response to the site is a crucial factor in exploring its meaning, and suggests that it is this creative work, underpinned by academic scholarship, which is best-placed to offer examples of the way a present and future society can begin to engage with this liminal and still traumatic territory.