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Thread: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

  1. #1
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    Post Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Minister for Health, Mary Harney received evidence of her department’s complicity in referring women to Magdalene Laundries from mother and baby homes at a meeting with the survivor advocacy group, Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) today (Thursday 25th March 2010). At the meeting, JFM presented evidence, dating to the 1930s, that the Department of Local Government and Public Health’s official policy was to transfer women from State-funded mother and baby homes and County Homes into Magdalene Laundries. In December 2009 the Department of Justice accepted that the State was always aware that there was no statutory basis for confining women within these institutions. JFM also raised the issue of the payment of capitation grants by the Health Boards to religious run Magdalene Laundries (amounting to £8.25 per capita per week in July 1972), evidence of which was also presented at the meeting. The Minister has agreed to look into these matters.

    This is the third such meeting that JFM has had with government departments where the organisation presented evidence of State complicity in referring women and children to the laundries.

    In December 2009, the Department of Justice acknowledged its awareness that the courts committed women to Magdalene Laundries as an alternative to prison and that, after the 1960 Criminal Justice Act, women were placed “On Remand” at the Sean McDermott Street laundry. Also, in February 2010, the Department of Education acknowledged its awareness that children were confined within the laundries as late as 1970. Minister Mary Hanafin, in response to a Parliamentary Question, recently confirmed that the Magdalene Laundries did not make (the then equivalent) PRSI contributions on behalf of Magdalene women. The Minister for Finance, also responding to a Parliamentary Question, declined to respond to a query asking if women incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries paid taxes. Dr. James Smith, Associate Professor of English and Irish Studies at Boston College and member of JFM’s advisory committee said:
    “Despite admissions of complicity and assurances of interdepartmental cooperation, the Irish State has not been forthcoming with the long overdue apology for the women and children who were denied basic human rights and whose lives were irreversibly damaged by their experiences in the Magdalene Laundries. The State must now do the right thing and issue a meaningful apology without further delay.”
    As well as demanding an apology, JFM is reiterating its previous calls on the State to produce records for all the women and children it was complicit in referring to the laundries and to enter into dialogue with the four religious congregations involved so that they too might make available their records for all women and children entering Magdalene laundries after 1st. January 1900. At the meeting today Minister Harney said she would raise the subject of the Magdalene Laundries at an upcoming government meeting with the religious orders. The Minister said she would also look into the possibility of accessing Census records in order to establish the number of women who were confined in Magdalene Laundries since the 1911 Census. JFM’s PRO Claire McGettrick, who attended today’s meeting said:
    “A strong case has now been made for redress and compensation for Magdalene survivors and the State can no longer claim it had no involvement. Many of the survivors are elderly and others are still living in silence awaiting that apology that will let them know that what happened to them was wrong. There are other women who are buried in unmarked mass graves, some of whom lost children to adoption, and the family members who are now seeking out those women deserve to know what happened to them, and the women deserve to have their stories told.”
    JFM now calls on An Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., to provide the necessary political leadership on this issue. He needs to bring his various Ministers and Departments together so as to effect justice for all Magdalene survivors. In particular, Mr. Cowen should issue an official apology and he should work to establish a distinct redress scheme. JFM has irrefutably demonstrated State complicity. Mr Cowen’s government must now demonstrate its commitment to justice for all Irish citizens.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________________________
    EDIT - USEFUL LINKS

    Justice for Magdalene's submission to the McAleese report - http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/St...ies_public.pdf

    The McAleese Report

    http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/MagdalenRpt2013

    Interdepartmental Committee report and other Government links.

    http://www.idcmagdalen.ie/
    Last edited by C. Flower; 09-06-2013 at 08:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    There's plenty of evidence. Highpark was set up specially to benefit from a State grant scheme.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Exclamation Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by C Flower View Post
    There's plenty of evidence. Highpark was set up specially to benefit from a State grant scheme.
    During my last meeting with the Government in the aftermath of the Ryan Report/Religious Orders Wealth Submissions I had, astonishingly, to explain to the Taoiseach, the Tanaiste, Minister for Health, Minister for Justice, Minister for Education, and the Minister of State for Children the close links between the Industrial Schools and the Magdalen Laundries by rehashing my own and my mother's entry into the 'architecture of containment' in this State. It seems to me that the State does not wants to admit its culpability in this matter.

    The group Justice for Magdalenes have set up a petition to urge Brian Cowen to call for State acknowledgment of its complicity in remanding women and children to Magdalene Laundries.

    Leadership needed on Magdalene Laundries Petition

    And the group are also hoping an email campaign can shake the Taoiseach and the Government out of it's lethargy on this matter: Dear Brian ...
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    State still in denial over Magdalene scandal

    Our capacity for self-delusion has had awful results for those who were locked up, but has also contributed to our economic ruin, writes FINTAN O’TOOLE

    THE FIRST time I wrote about the issue of the women who were incarcerated in Magdalene homes was in September 1993. The grounds of the largest such home in the UK or Ireland, High Park in Drumcondra, Dublin, had been sold off to a property developer by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. The graveyard was included in the deal – the bodies of the Magdalenes were dug up and re-interred in Glasnevin Cemetery. I noticed that at the same time, the sisters had lost a lot of money speculating on the shares of what was Ireland’s first great bubble company, Guinness Peat Aviation. What was not so obvious at the time was the deeper connection between these two events. Part of the reason things went so badly wrong in the way the Irish economy unfolded over the next 15 years was the extraordinary capacity for denial in Irish culture. Most societies have a talent for self-delusion but ours operated on a heroic scale. We were able to deny not just things we suspected to be the case but things we knew to be the case, whether it was the widespread corruption in politics or the fact that property simply could not be worth anything like what we were paying for it.

    That capacity didn’t come from nowhere. It was formed by many, many decades of practice. With its hatred of the poor (but not of poverty), of the deviant, of the dissenting, of the disturbing, Irish society developed extraordinarily powerful mechanisms for filtering out unwanted people. One of them was emigration. The other was institutionalisation. We locked up vast numbers of people in industrial schools, Magdalene homes and mental hospitals.

    The existence of these institutions was not, of course, a secret but knowledge was neutered – in large part by the sense that, since the church was running so many of these institutions, they must be good. When I wrote about High Park in 1993, for example, a no-doubt well-intentioned lady wrote to The Irish Times to share her memories of visiting the home to see her aunt who was a nun there: “My memory is of a group of tough, middle-aged Dublin women having lots of fun at the expense of my aunt, who also enjoyed the ‘craic’. These women were there from choice – they asked to be admitted, it was a ‘women’s refuge’ and protecting them was part of the nuns’ work. Sure, laundry work was hard and still is – but the women were well cared for . . .”

    This habit of denial had terrible consequences for those who were locked up, but it also fed into the economic catastrophe that ultimately overtook us. The conviction that what we want to be true must be true and that anyone who doubts it must be deluded, malicious or both, undermined our collective ability to recognise what was happening to us. And if we are to change the culture that has proved to be so toxic, we have to develop a new habit of mind in which we take our own realities seriously.

    It is for this reason that the continuing official denial of the State’s responsibility to the survivors of the Magdalene homes is not just a marginal question. If, after all, our Government can’t face up to the obvious injustice of locking up women for life and using them as forced labourers simply because they were judged to present a moral danger to society, how will it ever face up to bigger and more complex issues of responsibility and accountability?

    Dealing decently with the relatively small number of Magdalene survivors ought not to be particularly hard. The systems in place for the survivors of industrial schools provide the obvious model, with the added opportunity to avoid the outrageous aspects of the deal that saw the State taking almost the full rap for that scandal. The problem is that the Government is still in almost complete denial.

    First we had Batt O’Keeffe, as minister for education last year, claiming that the State
    “did not refer individuals nor was it complicit in referring individuals to Ireland’s Magdalene laundries”
    (it did and it was) and referring to the women who were forced to work in the laundries as
    “employees”.
    Both of these claims were subsequently withdrawn. In April, however, Brian Cowen, answering questions from Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kennedy, engaged in further obfuscation. He claimed that
    “the position of women in such laundries was not analogous with that of children in the residential institutions that were the subject of the Ryan report”
    and that “the Magdalene laundries were run by a small number of religious congregations”,
    implying that the State had nothing to do with them.

    From the 1930s onwards, the State transferred women from mother-and-baby homes and country homes into Magdalene laundries. As late as 1970, children as young as 13 were being confined in Magdalene laundries – some of them transferred there from industrial schools. The laundries were unquestionably a part of a system in which the State was enmeshed. Taking responsibility for those realities would be a small step towards decency.

    Link

    At my last meeting (Religious Orders Wealth Submissions) with the Government (the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Minister for Education, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, Minister of Health Mary Harney, Minister for Children Barry Andrews) we were told by the Taoiseach that the two issues (industrial Schools & Magdalene Asylums) were separate. Most speakers from our side disagreed with him ... none agreed with him. I spoke on how intimately intertwined both were. Of the many children transferred from the Asylums to Industrial Schools when they were aged 4 years ... capitation grants in Industrial Schools were not paid for children under four ... and remember these children DID NOT even have the dubious 'benefit' of an appearance in the District Court like the rest of us; they were just consigned to another horror in order that the Religious Order could get cash in hand for the extra child. Also I spoke of the criminalisation of many of the Magdalene women ... many who were the victims of child rape or incest ..... of being forced into contracts of marriage and paying cash (at least £100) for the 'privilege' ..... This was another nice little earner for the nuns, remember they had a great racket in selling babies to rich American Catholics.

    Some of these women escaped to England after the forced marriages - their children were then consigned to the Industrial Schools as punishment. Their mothers were under threat of arrest if they ever returned to Ireland.

    The Government need to grasp this nettle.

    My mother did return to Ireland in 1980 ..... to die. Too scared to return to the community she was born into she was welcomed in Cork ... Cork Wilton Hospital to be exact .... where she died after a few months. She was buried in the county she was born in ..... strange thing is she has two graves ... one of the graves bears the name she had in England .. this is maintained by her English family ... but bizarrely she has another grave .... no headstone with a name though just a very empty spot in a graveyard surrounded by graves with headstones bearing the name of the person and loving messages from the next-of-kin.

    Which grave is my mother buried in ? I don't know and the local priest and the previous priest would never tell me. My mother's English family insist she is buried in the plot they maintain ... my mother's family, or my father's won't tell me a thing, apparently I'm not good enough to be included in their company - after all I was an Industrial School Scruff. All quite bizarre really.

    I'd like to know where she is buried though - as you would ... I don't really give a toss about my country cousins. Her English family are lovely people ... indeed one of them is a top cancer doctor ... so she must have had some great mothering skills.

    My own children are grand too ... I can proudly state that they have never been inside a Catholic Church or school managed by that church - the cost was dear but well worth it. They have their own views on their 'Irishness' and are European in outlook and they bow to no one.

    I have four grandchildren - and two more on the way this year - and they call me Grandad Ho Ho Ho .... after Santa would you believe

    They know though that I want the Magdalene Asylum issue solved - that I want these women de-criminalised and their dignity reaffirmed. This Government should do the decent thing .. .they should do at least ONE DECENT THING before they themselves are consigned to history.
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    The Irish Human Rights Commission has called for a statutory inquiry into the treatment of women and girls in the 'Magdalene Laundries. In a report published today, the IHRC also urges the Government to provide redress for the survivors.

    The recommendation come after the Justice for Magdalenes group asked the IHRC to examine the human rights issues involved in the treatment of women and girls in such laundries, which were run by religious orders.

    Link

    IHRC Conclusions and Recommendation to Government

    Conclusion 1
    A large number of women and girls entered laundries, including Magdalen Laundries in the Twentieth Century, continuing a pre-existing practice. These laundries were run by Religious Orders, mostly Roman Catholic.

    Conclusion 2
    The available public records are poor and incomplete

    Conclusion 3
    Women and girls entered the Laundries via different routes: through the Courts system having a suspended sentence, being on remand or probation, or “informally” though referrals by families, voluntary or religious bodies, other State and non-state actors or through self-referral. Those entering
    were often unmarried mothers whose babies were put up for adoption but also women and girls who had committed serious crimes such as infanticide.

    Conclusion 4
    For those women and girls who entered following a Court process (in particular those on probation or remand) there was clear State involvement in their entry to the Laundries.

    Conclusion 5
    The treatment of these women and girls by the Religious Orders appears to have been harsh. They were reputedly forced to work long hours. Their names were often changed to a religious name, they were isolated from society and the girls were allegedly denied educational opportunities. The then Minister for
    Education and Science told the Oireachtas in 2001 that this treatment was abuse, that it involved an appalling breach of trust and that the victims suffered and continued to suffer.

    Conclusion 6
    There is no clear information on whether or how girls or women left the Laundries or if they had a choice in doing so.

    Conclusion 7
    Questions arise whether the State’s obligations to guard against arbitrary detention were met in the absence of information on whether and how women and girls under Court-processes left the laundries.

    Conclusion 8
    The State may have breached its obligations on forced or compulsory labour under the 1930 Forced Labour Convention from March 1931 and under the ECHR from 1953 in a) not suppressing/outlawing the practice in laundries particularly regarding women and girls in fear of penalty if they refused to work and (b) in engaging in commercial trade with the convents for goods produced as a result of such forced
    labour.

    Conclusion 9
    The State may have breached its obligations to ensure that no one is held in servitude insofar as some women or girls in the laundries may have been held in conditions of servitude after the State assumed obligations under Article 4 of the EHCR in 1953.

    Conclusion 10
    The adult biological children of women and girls who subsequently entered the laundries had and still have limited facilities to trace their biological parents and establish their identity, including through the Adoption Act 2010. This situation contrasts with that in Northern Ireland.

    Conclusion 11
    That the burial, exhumation and cremation of known and unknown women and girls who resided in Magdalen Laundries in 1993 at High Park, Drumcondra, raises serious questions for the State in the absence of detailed legislation governing the area and any requirement that all bodies be identified and accounted for in such communal plots. Questions arise as to whether there are death certificates for all those buried in those locations, and whether their remains were properly preserved and reinterred. Similar questions may arise in relation to other communal plots.

    Conclusion 12
    That vaccine trials of children in Mother and Babies homes did occur (at least 58 cases as found by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse), but that inquiry was injuncted following judicial review proceedings in 2004 and not recommended on a proper footing.
    Last edited by Andrew49; 09-11-2010 at 10:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    This is good news at last.

    I see reference though to the Vaccines trial issue - mother and babies homes - not going anywhere as yet ?

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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    This is good news at last.

    I see reference though to the Vaccines trial issue - mother and babies homes - not going anywhere as yet ?
    There's powerful forces at work preventing the truth coming out on infant drug trials, or 'excessive deference to authority' to put it another way.
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    Default JFM Presents "Restorative Justice and Reparations Scheme" to government

    PRESS RELEASE—For Immediate Release, 29-03-2011

    JFM presents "Restorative Justice and Reparations Scheme" to government

    Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), the survivor advocacy group, has submitted a revised "Restorative Justice and Reparations Scheme" to Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, T.D., updating the July 2009 proposed scheme, which began the group’s current campaign.

    The revised scheme reflects JFM’s ongoing dialogue and consultation with individual survivors in Ireland, the US and the UK. The latter includes the Irish Women’s Survivors Support Network located at the London Irish Centre, which is led by London based Labour Councillor Sally Mulready.

    As outlined in the document forwarded to Mr. Shatter and key members of the Cabinet, in addition to a formal state apology, Magdalene survivors are now seeking a lump sum compensation scheme, a statutory pension reflecting their years of work in the laundry institutions, and complete access to their records. They are not interested in an extension of the current redress scheme, which would involve a stressful adversarial process incompatible with their age and vulnerable position in life.

    Councillor Sally Mulready welcomed the new scheme, stating: “These women were forced to work in commercial enterprises run by Irish religious orders as an unpaid labour force in the most punishing of conditions and with no hope of escape. It is my fervent hope the new coalition government will find it in their hearts to be the political leaders that will at last bring justice to the Laundry women workers.”

    JFM also welcomes the news which emerged in Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s response to recent Parliamentary Questions that he is considering “a draft submission for the government,” prepared by the Department of Justice, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, in relation to the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) Assessment of the Human Rights Issues Arising in relation to the “Magdalen Laundries”. Professor James Smith (Boston College and JFM Advisory Board Member) said: “We look forward to the submission to the government being made public. In pursuing restorative justice—an apology, reparation, and services—for the survivors we work with, JFM remains ever aware of the fact that the majority of these women are aging and elderly. This campaign, therefore, is time sensitive in the extreme.”

    The outgoing government had referred the IHRC Assessment report to the Attorney General for his “consideration” on 11 November 2010. The Assessment document, offered twelve conclusions underscoring the State’s complicity in the abuse of women and young girls in the laundries. More importantly, the Assessment recommended that the government establish “a statutory mechanism … to investigate the matters advanced by JFM and in appropriate cases to grant redress where warranted.”

    In conclusion, JFM recently submitted a series of reports to the United Nations, the Irish State, the Irish Human Rights Commission and to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties’ “Rights Now” campaign, all in relation to the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review which will assess Ireland’s human rights record. The report to the United Nations includes new testimonies, which JFM has gathered from survivors.

    Ends.

    Contact Details: Claire McGettrick [PRO], 353-(0)86-3659516, [email protected]
    Mari Steed, 086-4059491, [email protected]
    James M. Smith 001-617-552-1596, [email protected]

    Notes to Editor:

    For details on the "Restorative Justice and Reparations Scheme":

    http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/JF...ons_Scheme.pdf

    Details of Parliamentary Questions available at:

    http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?....0&s=magdalene

    For further information on JFM:

    http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/what.htm

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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Great stuff Andrew ... that all looks sound in fairness and the groups are tied into and in contact with the right international organisations ... sounds like that Labour councillor is doing a good job there.

    I like the tie in to the UN human rights review procedure for member countries and hope that all this goes well.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

  10. #10

    Default Justice for Magdalenes makes submisison to the UN Committee Against Torture

    PRESS RELEASE—For Immediate Release, 22-04-2011

    Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) makes submission to the United Nations
    Committee Against Torture

    Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), the survivor advocacy group, has made a
    formal submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. The
    Committee Against Torture is due to examine Ireland for the first time
    on the extent to which it is meeting its human rights obligations to
    prevent torture, other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
    punishment on 23rd and 24th May 2011.

    JFM's submission draws attention to Ireland's legal duties under the
    Convention Against Torture to promptly and impartially investigate
    allegations of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and to
    ensure redress for the victims of such treatment.

    Maeve O'Rourke (Harvard LL.M.), author of JFM's submission and Harvard
    Law School 2010 Global Human Rights Fellow, said: “The Irish
    government will be given the opportunity to respond to the issues
    raised by civil society organisations such as JFM in its dialogue with
    the UN Committee against Torture. This international process offers
    the chance for Ireland to show the world that it is serious about
    putting right the mistakes of its past and ensuring a better and more
    equal future for all, including those who were so unjustly treated by
    the State in decades gone by.”

    The submission highlights the continuing degrading treatment that the
    women who spent time in Magdalene Laundries are suffering today
    because of the government's ongoing failure to apologise, investigate
    and compensate for the abuse.

    For almost two years JFM has worked with various government
    departments advocating for survivors’ needs. The women do not receive
    a pension for the compulsory yet unpaid work they were forced to
    endure. They do not receive healthcare or education to assist them in
    overcoming the physical and psychological effects of abuse suffered in
    the laundries. There is a dearth of personal records. The women
    continue to feel constrained and silenced by a deep sense of stigma
    and shame. Church and State, both, need to acknowledge that these
    survivors of institutional abuse were not at fault, but instead had a
    grave injustice perpetrated upon them.

    Councillor Sally Mulready, Chair of the Irish Women’s Support Network,
    London, and Member of JFM’s Advisory Committee, states, “The women
    were deprived of their liberty, and forced into a form of penal and
    religious servitude. Compelled to work in the harshest of conditions,
    they never knew if they would ever again see the outside world again.”

    Professor James Smith (Boston College), Member of JFM’s Advisory
    Committee, added, “we have waited nearly six months for the
    government’s response to the Irish Human Rights Commission’s
    unambiguous recommendation to initiate a statutory inquiry on this
    issue. We also recently submitted a revised “Restorative Justice and
    Reparations Scheme” and offered to meet with the Minister for Justice
    to discuss a pathway forward. Simply put, some of these women may not
    have another six months to wait. The time for action is now!”

    JFM also recently made a submission to the United Nations Universal
    Periodic Review, as part of the Twelfth Session of the Working Group
    on the UPR Human Rights Council due in October 2011.

    [ENDS]

    Contact Details:

    Claire McGettrick [PRO], 353-(0)86-3659516, [email protected]
    Mari Steed, (00)1-215-589-9329, [email protected]
    James M. Smith, (00)1-617-552-1596, [email protected]
    Maeve O’Rourke, (00) 44 74 0330 1781, [email protected]

    Notes to Editor:

    For the full submission email any of the contacts.

    For further information on JFM: http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/what.htm

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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Thanks for posting this update.

    Who should we email if we want to write to the Government about this ?

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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Thanks for posting this update.

    Who should we email if we want to write to the Government about this ?
    I would imagine the Dept of Justice?

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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Thanks for posting this update.

    Who should we email if we want to write to the Government about this ?
    The Minister [Alan Shatter] would be a good start!

    Extracts from Dail Transcript

    Order of Business 17 Dec 09

    Deputy Alan Shatter: Does the Taoiseach intend to introduce legislation in the new year to amend the redress board legislation to extend it to those who suffered barbaric cruelty in the Magdalen laundries? The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform now has irrefutable evidence that this State and the courts colluded in sending young women to what were then known as the Magdalen asylums. They ended up in the Magdalen laundries and were treated appallingly. Some of them have never recovered from the manner in which they were treated and their lives have been permanently blighted. Initially in this House the Minister for Education and Science denied that the State had any involvement in this. There is now absolutely irrefutable evidence as a consequence of court records and files that have been examined in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform that the State was directly complicit in many women being placed in these totally inappropriate circumstances.

    /………..

    The Taoiseach: I note what Deputies have said about the matter and I will refer it to the relevant Ministers and see what is the position. I am not up to date on this matter.

    - - - - - - - - -
    Classic fob-off reply
    - - - - - - - - -

    What a short memory the last Fianna Fail Emperor had: Paddy Doyle, Michael O'Brien, Mick Waters, myself, and Christina Buckley (to name a few) DID 'update' him personally on the Magdalene laundries!
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew49 View Post
    The Minister [Alan Shatter] would be a good start!

    Extracts from Dail Transcript

    Order of Business 17 Dec 09

    Deputy Alan Shatter: Does the Taoiseach intend to introduce legislation in the new year to amend the redress board legislation to extend it to those who suffered barbaric cruelty in the Magdalen laundries? The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform now has irrefutable evidence that this State and the courts colluded in sending young women to what were then known as the Magdalen asylums. They ended up in the Magdalen laundries and were treated appallingly. Some of them have never recovered from the manner in which they were treated and their lives have been permanently blighted. Initially in this House the Minister for Education and Science denied that the State had any involvement in this. There is now absolutely irrefutable evidence as a consequence of court records and files that have been examined in the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform that the State was directly complicit in many women being placed in these totally inappropriate circumstances.

    /………..

    The Taoiseach: I note what Deputies have said about the matter and I will refer it to the relevant Ministers and see what is the position. I am not up to date on this matter.

    - - - - - - - - -
    Classic fob-off reply
    - - - - - - - - -

    What a short memory the last Fianna Fail Emperor had: Paddy Doyle, Michael O'Brien, Mick Waters, myself, and Christina Buckley (to name a few) DID 'update' him personally on the Magdalene laundries!
    Thanks

  15. #15

    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Yes ... The Department of Justice were nominated by Brian Cowen to act as "lead department" on the Magdalene Laundries issue. We at JFM have heard nothing to suggest that this policy has changed. Moreover, Minister Alan Shatter's response to parliamentary questions (see below), tabled on behalf of JFM, suggests that this issue is finally being "considered" at the ministerial level. Nothing further from Mr. Shatter since March 23.
    ************
    PQ Response:


    Alan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)

    I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 to 79, inclusive, together.

    On 9 November, 2010 the Human Rights Commission published their assessment of the request by the Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) group to carry out an enquiry under Section 9 of the Human Rights Commission Act, 2000 into the treatment of women and girls who resided in Magdalen Laundries. The Human Rights Commission decided not to carry out a statutory enquiry itself as it is entitled to do under the legislation which established it and as was requested by the Justice for Magdalenes group. It recommended that a statutory mechanism be established to investigate the matters advanced by JFM and in appropriate cases to grant redress where warranted. Their assessment was the subject of an Adjournment Debate in this House on that same evening. As outlined to the House in that Debate, the assessment raises issues for a range of Government Departments as well as for the four religious congregations who operated the Magdalen institutions.

    My Department, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General whose role is to provide legal advice, has prepared a draft submission for the Government on the matter which I am now considering.

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