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Thread: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

  1. #31

    Default Irish TImes Open Letter: Dear Cabinet-Magdalene Survivors need justice now

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...295868515.html



    The Irish Times - Monday, May 2, 2011
    Dear Cabinet: Magdalene survivors need justice now


    A scene from Peter Mullans film The Magdalene Sisters. "No representative of Irish society has apologised to these institutional abuse survivors."
    OPEN LETTER: The Cabinet is to discuss the legacy of the Magdalene laundries. It is time for an official apology for the abuse meted out there

    DEAR MEMBERS of the Cabinet,

    On behalf of the Justice for Magdalenes advocacy group, we are writing to solicit your support for survivors of Ireland’s Magdalene laundries. The Cabinet, we understand, is expected to take up this matter.

    Almost six months ago, the Irish Human Rights Commission published its assessment of our application for an inquiry, in which we documented human rights violations in the laundry institutions. The assessment recommended that the State “establish a statutory mechanism to investigate the matters advanced by Justice for Magdalenes, and, in appropriate cases, to grant redress where warranted”.

    The assessment details the State’s historical failure to adequately protect women and girls from abusive conditions, specifically from wrongful and unlawful detention, inhuman and degrading treatment, and forced labour and servitude. It also recognises the importance of restorative justice for aging and elderly women.

    On November 11th, 2010, the then taoiseach Brian Cowen referred the commission’s assessment for review by the attorney general. On March 23rd, 2011, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter announced he was considering “a draft submission for the Government” on the matter. The Cabinet will now decide what happens. We ask you to consider the following.

    No representative of Irish society has apologised to these institutional abuse survivors. The laundries were not included in the Residential Institutional Redress Act, 2002. These women were excluded from the Residential Institutions Redress Board. They are the nation’s disappeared, abandoned and shunned in the present as in the past.

    For almost two years, Justice for Magdalenes worked with various government departments in advocating for survivors’ needs. In September 2009, the then minister for education, Batt O’Keeffe, rejected our group’s initial proposal for a distinct redress scheme. He asserted that the State “did not refer individuals, nor was it complicit in referring individuals to the laundries”. The previous government argued that the laundries were privately owned and operated and so did not come within the responsibility of the State.

    Justice for Magdalenes rejects this position. It is now a matter of public record that the courts entered into arrangements whereby women given a suspended sentence were sent to a Magdalene laundry rather than prison. Likewise, members of the judiciary placed women “on probation” and “on remand” at these same institutions.

    The department of education knew in 1970 that there were at least “70 girls between the age of 13 and 19 years confined in this way who should properly be dealt with under the reformatory schools system”. Meanwhile, the department of health was paying a capitation grant for young “problem” girls sent to these convent institutions in the 1980s. As late as 1982, the department of defence met the religious congregations to discuss the insertion of a “fair wage clause” in laundry contracts, contracts that were issued without such a clause since at least 1941.

    At no time did the State license, regulate or inspect the Magdalene laundries, which always operated on a for-profit basis. Consequently, survivors do not receive a pension for their compulsory yet unpaid work in harsh conditions. After 1953 there was a statutory obligation governing employers’ withholding of pension contributions. The nuns made no contributions for the workers in the laundries. The State did not enforce the law.

    The women do not receive healthcare or education to assist them in overcoming the physical and psychological effects of abuse and exploitation suffered in the laundries. Compounding their trauma, many of the women continue to feel a deep sense of stigma and shame.

    They experience the Government’s unwillingness to take meaningful political action as the pursuit of the policy “deny ’til they die”.

    Justice for Magdalenes submitted a revised Restorative Justice and Reparations Scheme to Alan Shatter on March 29th. This reflects the group’s ongoing dialogue and consultation with individual survivors in Ireland, the US and the UK.

    In addition to an apology, the women are 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 legal process incompatible with their age and vulnerable position in life.

    Justice for Magdalenes is also seeking support for its campaign in the international human rights arena. We recently made a formal submission to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which, on May 23rd and 24th, is due to examine Ireland for the first time on the extent to which it is meeting its human rights obligations.

    Justice for Magdalenes’s submission draws attention to the continuing degrading treatment suffered by the women, and to Ireland’s legal duties to promptly and impartially investigate allegations of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and to ensure redress for the victims of such treatment.

    Justice for Magdalenes asks for the State’s assistance in bringing the church and the religious orders to the table. We continue to reach out to the four religious congregations that operated the laundries, and to members of the Irish hierarchy. The orders refuse to meet with us; they do not answer our correspondence. We did meet Cardinal Seán Brady in June 2010, and he characterised Justice for Magdalenes’s presentation as “fair and balanced”. Moreover, he recommended that we approach Cori, the Conference of Religious of Ireland, as a way to facilitate dialogue with the congregations. However, Cori refused our request for a meeting, on October 1st, 2010.

    The State and Catholic Church both need to acknowledge that the women who spent time in the nation’s Magdalene laundries are survivors of institutional abuse, that they were not at fault, but instead had a grave injustice perpetrated upon them. An apology is a significant signal that the Republic of Ireland is prepared to right past injustices.

    Your decision on these matters will have real and meaningful consequences. We urge you to lead us all as citizens on the path towards fairness and equality, and to right a historical wrong that remains otherwise a dishonour to the nation.

    Sincerely,

    James Smith, associate professor, English & Irish studies, Boston College;

    Mari Steed, director, Justice For Magdalene co-ordinating committee;

    Claire McGettrick, Angela Murphy and Judy Campbell, Justice For Magdalene committees;

    Katherine O’Donnell, women’s studies, School of Social Justice, UCD;

    Maeve O’Rourke, Harvard Law School 2010 global human rights Fellow;

    Cllr Sally Mulready, chairwoman, Irish Women Survivors Network, London;

    Mary McAuliffe, women’s studies, School of Social Justice, UCD;

    Sandra McAvoy, women’s studies, UCC;

    Paddy Doyle, author of The God Squad ;

    Tom Kitt, former co-chairman of Oireachtas ad-hoc committee/Magdalene laundries;

    Michael Kennedy, former co-chairman of Oireachtas ad-hoc committee/Magdalene laundries.


    *********************

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    I'd say that now would be a good time for anyone to send an email to any Cabinet member (or all of them) to give support to this letter.

    It's really shocking to think that these women haven't even been paid for their work.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I'd say that now would be a good time for anyone to send an email to any Cabinet member (or all of them) to give support to this letter.

    It's really shocking to think that these women haven't even been paid for their work.
    JUSTICE for Magdalenes (JFM), the advocacy group calling for a redress system for survivors of Magdalene laundries, has stepped up its campaign as the Justice Minister makes a decision on the issue in the coming weeks. Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Disability and Equality Minister Kathleen Lynch, who is a long-time supporter of JFM, are set to discuss the issue this week.

    Almost six months ago, the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) recommended that the state “establish a statutory mechanism to investigate the matters… and in appropriate cases to grant redress where warranted”. Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen referred the IHRC assessment to the Attorney General for review last November and in March, Mr Shatter announced he was considering “a draft submission for the Government” on the matter.

    This weekend, letters were sent to all senior and junior ministers by JFM seeking support for a redress scheme, though Ireland’s economic situation may hamper this. In its letter to the minister, the group asked for the state’s assistance in bringing the Church and religious orders to the table.

    the letter said“We continue to reach out to the four religious congregations that operated the laundries, and to members of the Irish hierarchy. The orders refuse to meet with us; they do not answer our correspondence. We did meet with Cardinal Sean Brady in June 2010, and he characterised JFM’s presentation as ‘fair and balanced’. Moreover, he recommended that we approach CORI as a way to facilitate dialogue with the congregations. However, CORI refused our request for a meeting in October 2010,”
    JFM called on the state and the Catholic Church to apologise and acknowledge the women as survivors of institutional abuse.

    Research by JFM shows the Irish Courts Service sent women to these institutions “on probation” and “on remand” and the Department of Health paid capitation grants for “problem girls” sent there up to the 1980s. The research also highlights how at no time did the state license, regulate or inspect the Magdalene laundries, which always operated on a for-profit basis.

    Consequently, survivors do not receive a pension for their compulsory yet unpaid work in harsh conditions.
    Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile

  4. #34

    Default Examiner: Magdalene group steps up campaign

    Magdalene group steps up campaign

    By Claire O’Sullivan

    Monday, May 02, 2011

    JUSTICE for Magdalenes (JFM), the advocacy group calling for a redress system for survivors of Magdalene laundries, has stepped up its campaign as the Justice Minister makes a decision on the issue in the coming weeks.


    a d v e r t i s e m e n t


    Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Disability and Equality Minister Kathleen Lynch, who is a long-time supporter of JFM, are set to discuss the issue this week.

    Almost six months ago, the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) recommended that the state "establish a statutory mechanism to investigate the matters... and in appropriate cases to grant redress where warranted".

    Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen referred the IHRC assessment to the Attorney General for review last November and in March, Mr Shatter announced he was considering "a draft submission for the Government" on the matter.

    This weekend, letters were sent to all senior and junior ministers by JFM seeking support for a redress scheme, though Ireland’s economic situation may hamper this.

    In its letter to the minister, the group asked for the state’s assistance in bringing the Church and religious orders to the table.

    "We continue to reach out to the four religious congregations that operated the laundries, and to members of the Irish hierarchy. The orders refuse to meet with us; they do not answer our correspondence. We did meet with Cardinal Sean Brady in June 2010, and he characterised JFM’s presentation as ‘fair and balanced’. Moreover, he recommended that we approach CORI as a way to facilitate dialogue with the congregations. However, CORI refused our request for a meeting in October 2010," the letter said.

    JFM called on the state and the Catholic Church to apologise and acknowledge the women as survivors of institutional abuse.

    Research by JFM shows the Irish Courts Service sent women to these institutions "on probation" and "on remand" and the Department of Health paid capitation grants for "problem girls" sent there up to the 1980s.

    The research also highlights how at no time did the state license, regulate or inspect the Magdalene laundries, which always operated on a for-profit basis.

    Consequently, survivors do not receive a pension for their compulsory yet unpaid work in harsh conditions.



    This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, May 02, 2011

    Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland...#ixzz1LDfNNGEP

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    I'm surprised that I've heard so little from the Irish Left about this. It's an issue of workers' rights, as much as anything. Has ICTU given support to the campaign ?

  6. #36

    Default Lack of redress for the Magdalene Laundries Abuse – A Continuing Violation of UNCAT

    Human Rights in Ireland Blog

    Guest Post: Lack of redress for the Magdalene Laundries Abuse – A Continuing Violation of UNCAT

    GuestPost

    We are delighted to welcome this guest post by Maeve O’Rourke. Maeve is the 2010-2011 Harvard Law School Global Human Rights Fellow and serves on the advisory committee of Justice for Magdalenes (JFM). You can read about Maeve and see links to her previous posts for HRinI on our guests page.

    Later this month, the United Nations Committee against Torture will examine Ireland for the first time on the extent to which it is meeting its human rights obligations under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) has taken the opportunity to submit an NGO report to the Committee against Torture on the lack of redress for women who were incarcerated and forced into unpaid labour in Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, as we wait for the government’s response to the Irish Human Rights Commission’s Recommendation from November 2010 to immediately establish a statutory inquiry into the Magdalene Laundries abuse and ensure redress as appropriate.

    Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) in 2002, while the last Magdalene Laundry closed in 1996, prior to ratification. Therefore, JFM’s report to the Committee focuses on the continuing violations of the Convention which the women are suffering as a result of the State’s ongoing failure to initiate an investigation into and ensure compensation for the torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment they endured in the Magdalene Laundries.

    On the issue of continuing violations of the Convention in the context of individual communications to the Committee against Torture under article 22 UNCAT, the Committee ruled in A.A. v. Azerbaijan [Communication No. 247/2004] that although “a State party’s obligations under the Convention apply from the date of its entry into force for that State party”, the Committee “can examine alleged violations of the Convention which occurred before a State party’s recognition of the Committee’s competence to receive and consider individual communications alleging violations of the Convention … if the effects of these violations continued after the declaration under article 22 became effective, and if the effects constitute in themselves a violation of the Convention.”

    JFM’s report to the Committee submits that the continuing effects of the Magdalene Laundries abuse, resulting from the State’s ongoing failure to inquire or provide redress, amount to degrading treatment in violation of Article 16 UNCAT. This claim is elaborated below.

    We further submit that Ireland is violating its obligations under Articles 12, 13 and 14 UNCAT to promptly and impartially investigate allegations of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and to ensure redress for such treatment.

    These claims are accompanied by background evidence of the torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment suffered by women and girls in the Magdalene Laundries from 1922 – 1996. In accordance with the Article 1 and Article 16 UNCAT definition of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, this includes evidence of the underlying reasons for the treatment, including sex discrimination and criminal punishment; physical and mental suffering caused by unlawful imprisonment, forced labour, and physical and psychological maltreatment; state involvement in and awareness of the Magdalene Laundries’ incarcerative and commercial functions; and state acquiescence in the abuse through the State’s wilful failure to regulate or inspect the laundries (see previous HRinI posts here).

    In terms of the degrading treatment that women who spent time in Magdalene Laundries continue to suffer, JFM’s submission highlights the following:

    The women have not received a pension for the compulsory yet unpaid work they were forced to carry out. After 1953 there was a statutory obligation governing employers’ withholding of pension contributions; however, the religious orders made no contributions for the women in the laundries and the State did not enforce the law.

    The women have not received healthcare or education to assist them in overcoming the physical and psychological effects of the abuse.

    The women have not been acknowledged by the State as survivors of a grave injustice. A particular stigma and sense of shame still attaches to the women’s experiences in the Magdalene laundries, which the State has taken no steps to relieve. In the absence of an apology and official acknowledgment that what happened to them was wrong, many women feel compelled to remain silent about the injustices perpetrated upon them in the Magdalene Laundries.

    The State has not produced any personal records for the women and girls whom it was responsible for incarcerating in the Magdalene Laundries. Nor has the State taken steps to ensure the release of the women’s personal records from the custody of the religious orders. This has created identification difficulties for the women and their families, in particular the families of women who died behind convent walls. The children of former Magdalene women, especially adult adopted persons searching to reunite with their natural family and/or discover family medical histories, are also impacted by the inaccessibility of records.

    Many of the women who spent time in the Magdalene Laundries are elderly, and they experience the State’s unwillingness to take meaningful steps towards restorative justice as the pursuit of the policy “deny ’til they die”.

    To conclude, the requirement to highlight the State’s continuing violations of the Convention Against Torture, given the date of Ireland’s ratification, rightly situates the women who suffered abuse in the Magdalene Laundries, and their human rights, in the present and not in the past.

    As the women’s current experiences clearly demonstrate, the State’s abandonment of its duty to protect these women is not an historical abuse. It is a living one, which urgently demands a remedy.


    Share
    Related Posts

    * April 29, 2011 -- Magdalen Survivor Mary Smith’s Clarion Call for Justice (1)
    * November 14, 2010 -- Justice for Magdalenes: Official Response to IHRC Findings (6)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I'm surprised that I've heard so little from the Irish Left about this. It's an issue of workers' rights, as much as anything. Has ICTU given support to the campaign ?
    ICTU doesn't want to get involved. It's a Politus Pilate treason as the FG govt doesn't want to pay another cent more. You will see all sort of lame excuses conjured by FG govt in the coming weeks to avoid this.

    The past actions by FG in the last couple of weeks convinced me that FG are doing FF way nothing more or less. They are going to stick with the EU_IMF programme with liitle leeway there.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    I'm surprised that I've heard so little from the Irish Left about this. It's an issue of workers' rights, as much as anything. Has ICTU given support to the campaign ?
    Let me start by saying: I'm an admirer of James Connolly and always have been.

    The quotes below are from Goretti Horgan's Changing women’s lives in Ireland
    LINK: Connoly, the Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries

    Other Catholic church dominated countries have had a healthy anti-clerical tradition on the left, so the capitulation of the Irish left has to be explained. At the start of the 20th century, with the church growing ever more militant, Ireland needed a left which would take the church on and defend the rights of women, and men, to sexual freedom. If the working class was to stand together, it needed an alternative view of women’s role and position in society. James Connolly, the giant of Irish socialism, might have been expected to provide such an alternative. Unfortunately, Connolly’s syndicalism led him to see the women’s question only in relation to economic issues. Unlike Marx, Lenin and Trotsky, Connolly did not regard the family and sexual freedom as areas of socialist concern.
    This failure to challenge the church’s view of women and sexuality weakened the ability of workers to defend their economic position. A case in point is the Magdalen Laundries. They were, in essence, sweatshops served by the slave labour of the women imprisoned there without trial or release date. During the 1913 Dublin Lockout one of the strikers, Mary Ellen Murphy, was sentenced to one month in custody for “assaulting one of the girls employed by Messrs Jacobs by giving her a box on the face and calling her a ‘scab’.” [43] Because she was only 15 she could not be put in Mountjoy jail with the other strikers. Instead she was committed to High Park Convent in Drumcondra, where the nuns ran an Industrial School and Magdalen institution on the same site.
    In demanding Mary Ellen Murphy’s release, both Connolly and Larkin used the language of priests and bishops against the women of the Magdalen institution. Instead of railing against the use of slave labour, with its inevitable undercutting of wage rates for workers in commercial laundries, they complained that Mary Ellen would be forced to mix there with “fallen women”. Connolly said that “when that girl was sent into that institution her character was foully besmirched and a damnable outrage committed”. He answered criticisms from the employers that he was exaggerating when he said the girl was in a “home for fallen women”:

    ... the girls of the reformatory were in the same chapel with the fallen women and in view of them, a partition only dividing them ... she was not forgotten by her friends, though the hell hounds of the capitalist system were trying to blacken her character. [44]
    In portraying the women of the Magdalen Laundries as outcasts from the working class, instead of as the most oppressed of that class, Connolly failed to oppose the church in its mission to support capitalism in its exploitation of workers. This became clearer after Connolly’s death when the Magdalen institutions started to bid for work traditionally done by commercial laundries. Time and again the leadership of the Irish Women Workers’ Union complained that employers looked for cuts in wages and for longer hours without compensation. The employers argued that they could not pay their workers a living wage and compete with the institutional laundries. In the middle of the Second World War, when there should have been plenty of work, the IWWU had to write to the heads of the Magdalen Laundries urging them not to take work away from the commercial operations. While two Reverend Mothers had “friendly but inconclusive” talks with the IWWU, others did not even reply to the union’s letters. In April 1941 Bloomfield Laundry lost a military contract to the Donnybrook Magdalen Laundry and 25 women at Bloomfield were laid off. [45]
    Connolly’s approach to the Magdalen women contrasted with the approach taken by Lenin and Trotsky to the prostitutes who organised themselves in the course of the Russian Revolution. To anyone who questioned the right of these women to be part of the workers’ councils, they pointed out that as the worst victims of class society, they had more right than most to help build an alternative. Lenin’s maxim that the revolutionary has to be “the tribune of the oppressed” was explained by Tony Cliff:
    A revolutionary has to be extreme in opposition to all forms of oppression. A white revolutionary must be more extreme in opposing racism than a black revolutionary. A gentile revolutionary must oppose anti-Semitism more strongly than any Jew. A male revolutionary must be completely intolerant of any harassment or belittling of women. [46]
    None of this takes away from the fact that, generally speaking, Connolly was a champion of women’s rights at a time when it was “neither popular nor profitable”. His essay – Woman, published in 1914 in The Reconquest of Ireland – echoed Marx and Trotsky with its assertion that “the worker is the slave of capitalist society, the female worker is the slave of that slave”.
    On a personal note: I was sent out to work on licence in 1967 (age almost 14) from the Industrial Schools system. I was a Houseboy/Porter (actually unpaid skivvy) in an hotel and guesthouse in the south-east of Ireland. My employer - whom I had to call 'The Boss' - had fought against Franco in 1936/39 - he was a strong anti-Fascist. Indeed the chairman(?) of the Communist Party of Ireland delivered an eulogy at his funeral.

    Yet he mostly only 'employed' children from the Industrial Schools - and our wages were sent on to the Religious Orders of the Industrial School we were out on licence from. He was also forced by the Gardai to send me to school ... the era of 'free' Secondary Education had just begun in Ireland. What that meant was that I had to work in the hotel and guesthouse from 6AM until 9am - then school until 3PM - then back to work from 3AM until 10PM that night. Saturdays and Sundays I worked from 7AM until 6PM ... that lasted a year until I was sent back to the Industrial School! Irish Left: HOW ARE YOU!!!!!
    Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Too busy resenting the British treating the Irish as second class citizens to notice our homegrown scum doing the same I suppose.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Con O'Sullivan View Post
    Too busy resenting the British treating the Irish as second class citizens to notice our homegrown scum doing the same I suppose.
    Yeah it's very common especially when you are a downtrodden or a tramp or a traveller or person with a disability or a member of a minority/ethical group. They are all termed as ' easy' targets to go after. The govt here for decades, don't give a fig about our rights.

    For instance M Noonan commenting recently about SNA's cuts in future budgets.


    For instance the Disability bill here is a resource based rather a right based bill. So if the resource is scarce then any Govt dept or HSE or institutions can get away with murder. Ireland is the only country in the EU, who hasn't signed up to the UN treaty of Disabled persons. That tells you a lot more about their attitudes/ treatment towards any minority group such as disability or a traveller. Many a traveller/blacks said to us that we are in the same boat as regards to rights, treated as a full 2nd class citizens etc.

    Funny enough, i have found England is streets ahead of here re disability standards and their level of awareness is first class compared to here. To be honest, Ireland was/is backward looking as regards to any forms of disability.

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  12. #42

    Default Irish Times Letter

    The Irish Times - Thursday, May 5, 2011
    Justice for Magdalene women


    Madam, – The open letter to the Cabinet from the campaigners on behalf of the Magdalene Laundry horrors has rightly garnered widespread publicity (Opinion, May 2nd). Perhaps now would be an opportune time for the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland to join with the new Government in admitting culpability for Church and State in the gross mistreatment of these women, and as well as begging for forgiveness arranging for the payment of financial recompense immediately? – Yours, etc,

    JOHN GOLDEN,

    Blackheath Park,

    London,

    England.

  13. #43

    Default Irish Examiner: Department handed report on numbers sent to laundries

    Department handed report on numbers sent to laundries
    By Claire O’Sullivan

    Thursday, May 05, 2011

    A REPORT prepared by the HSE detailing how many young mothers were transferred from state-run mother-and-baby homes to unregulated Magdalene laundries has been handed over to the Department of Health.

    Documentation obtained by the Justice for the Magdalenes (JFM) group from state archives show these women were routinely transferred to the religious orders without any prior agreement on when they would be released.

    Many of these women spent large periods of their lives confined in the laundries working for nuns, without pay or pension.

    However, the Department of Health has so far refused to reveal the numbers of women and children transferred into laundries in this way.

    According to JFM, the Department of Local Government and Public Health Annual Report for 1932-33 states that women who had more than one child out of wedlock were described as "an intractable problem" by the state and described as "feeble minded". It was these women that were directed to the nuns’ laundries.

    "With regard to the more intractable problem presented by unmarried mothers of more than one child, the Sisters-in- Charge of the Magdalene Asylums in Dublin and elsewhere throughout the country are willing to co-operate with the local authorities by admitting them into their institutions," the report states.

    "Many of the women appear to be feeble-minded and need supervision and guardianship. The Magdalene Asylum offers the only special provision at present for this class."

    Young women who were regarded as developmentally challenged, flirtatious or promiscuous, and girls who had been abused were also put in the laundries.

    It has also emerged over the past two years that capitation grants were also paid by the Department of Justice for women that were "on remand" or "probation" while health boards paid grants for "problem girls" that they perceived as needing protection.

    However, in September 2009, the then Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe, said these women were not entitled to redress from the state as the state "did not refer individuals nor was it complicit in referring individuals to Magdalene laundries".

    Since then, the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has found a raft of human rights abuses in the way the State dealt with these women.

    In the Dáil last night, Health Minister James Reilly said he acquired the information in a report and he would consider it.

    Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is considering the IHRC assessment of the Magdalene laundries and also a proposal for a reparations scheme submitted by JFM.

    Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and the Socialist Party TDs yesterday demanded information from the government on how they intend providing redress to the survivors of Magdalene laundries.


    This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, May 05, 2011


    Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland...#ixzz1LRCRUqX0

  14. #44

    Default Irish Times: Magdalene group getting 'run-around'

    The Irish Times - Friday, May 6, 2011
    Magdalene group getting 'run-around'

    PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

    THE JUSTICE for Magdalenes (JFM) group has accused the Catholic Church of giving survivors of the Magdalene laundries the “classic run-around” and has claimed four letters it sent to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin over the last 18 months have not been answered.

    The group has again written to Dr Martin following an interview he gave on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland yesterday in which he said he was “sympathetic” to the Magdalene women’s case. The church had addressed such issues from the past and there was “no reason why we can’t address this one”, he said.

    He added Cardinal Seán Brady, as president of the Irish Episcopal Conference, had met representatives of JFM.

    In a letter sent to Archbishop Martin yesterday on behalf of JFM, Prof Jim Smith from Boston College said he was heartened by the radio interview.

    He said he had also written to the four congregations involved in running the laundries – the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Charity, Good Shepherd Sisters, and Sisters of Our Lady of Charity – “all of who have a presence in the Dublin archdiocese”, when he had previously written to the archbishop.

    “Finally, last June, I heard directly from the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity and they informed me that they didn’t feel there was ‘anything to talk about’ and that they would not meet with JFM.”

    Prof Smith pointed out he had also written to Cori (Conference of Religious of Ireland) “last July seeking a meeting, as suggested by Cardinal Brady. We heard back on October 1st, 2010, that Cori was not prepared to meet with us, referring us instead to the four religious congregations.”

    “JFM very much feels that the Catholic Church in Ireland, and especially the four religious congregations, are engaged in giving JFM, with all due respect, a classic run-around . . . the church is pursuing a ‘deny ’til they die’ policy.”

    He recalled how at the “Liturgy of Lament and Repentance” in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral last February, Archbishop Martin had apologised and urged abuse survivors to continue to speak out.

    Prof Smith continued: “JFM is doing precisely what you asked other survivors of institutional abuse to do – we are speaking out, seeking the truth.”

    A spokeswoman for Archbishop Martin said last night Prof Smith had been in touch and would get a response “in due course”.


    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...296281026.html

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    6,105

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

    I must say that Diarmuid Martin is great at NOT answering quite simple questions - here is only part of his interview on RTE's Morning Ireland on May 5 2011:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odt9i9AsAVA"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odt9i9AsAVA[/ame]
    Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced, wide-awake crescent-shaped smile

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