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Thread: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

  1. #721
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    The title of this thread is looking over-optimistic.

    The Government response has been complete rubbish, as was that of the previous government. Both now severely criticised by the UN Committee Against Torture which has noted lack of proper investigation or action on ill treatment of women.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/soci...ries-1.3141047
    “ 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

  2. #722
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Yep, maybe set up a thread called "join the queue of government inaction and lack of interest in socially and legally appalling events"

  3. #723
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Hundreds of women who worked in the Magdalene laundries have gathered in Dublin for two days of events to mark their collective experience.

    The event seems to have emerged from an idea by Justice For Magdalenes Research, and taken up by a committee called Dublin Honours Magdalenes, which is headed up by Norah Casey, working under the somewhat pretentious title "Ambassador" for the Committee. Until evidence of otherwise, my impression is that Casey genuinely empathises with the women and wants them to be treated with respect. Suspicions that she is angling for Government or NGO posts, or for the Presidency, will have to be parked.

    To me, respect would be legal redress for their false imprisonment, prosecution of those concerned, compensation for the intense psychological and physical abuse they experienced (forced hard labour is physical abuse) and all of their unpaid wages paid. What is happening is crumbs. It is still really good to see the women meet up, and begin to speak out more for themselves.

    The impression that this is all in the distant past is very far from the truth. I came across a newly built 'mother and baby home' in Waterford at the beginning of the 1990s. The last laundry closed only 22 years ago - a woman who was twenty then, is 42 now, and I've met a woman in her 40s who worked in a laundry - and escaped.

    http://www.thejournal.ie/magdalene-l...52255-Jun2018/

    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2017/10/25/the-last-laundry/
    “ 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

  4. #724
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    "To me, respect would be legal redress for their false imprisonment, prosecution of those concerned, compensation for the intense psychological and physical abuse they experienced (forced hard labour is physical abuse) and all of their unpaid wages paid. What is happening is crumbs. It is still really good to see the women meet up, and begin to speak out more for themselves."

    +1, but..... they trot out O'Higgins and a show piece in the Aras. Our unfeeling civil service even block recompense on ridiculous grounds.

  5. #725
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    "No Country for Women" by RTE is being for me much spoiled by ridiculous "spooky music" being played over the short clips of (mainly) women speaking on the subject of oppression of women in the Republic. There is still interesting material in here - a local government Act of 1923 criminalising birth out of wedlock was mentioned, in passing. Topics covered so far have been sexual violence, the laundries, illegal abortion, incarceration of women in psychiatric institutions.
    “ 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

  6. #726
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Agreed, too much material, constant jumping around. However, the history is fascinating. Horrifying to see that the laundries, etc., were not closed until '96 and even then not by edict.

    Apropos, on a similar topic, on the news just before, I noticed the paucity of attendees at the Dail "debate" on homosexuality. Presumably the majority of TDs were afraid they might be identified as pro gay if they turned up.

    B

  7. #727
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by barrym View Post
    Agreed, too much material, constant jumping around. However, the history is fascinating. Horrifying to see that the laundries, etc., were not closed until '96 and even then not by edict.

    Apropos, on a similar topic, on the news just before, I noticed the paucity of attendees at the Dail "debate" on homosexuality. Presumably the majority of TDs were afraid they might be identified as pro gay if they turned up.

    B
    There are still women "in the care of" the same order as ran High Park, in a nursing home next to the site, behind walls. So far as I know no-one has intervened to see if they would rather be elsewhere.
    “ 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

  8. #728
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Some of the institutions examined and criticised in the Ryan inquiry were also open until relatively recent years, up until the 1990s in some cases.
    "If you go far enough to either extreme of the political spectrum, Communist or fascist, you'll find hard-eyed men with guns who believe that anybody who doesn't think as they do should be incarcerated or exterminated. " - Jim Garrison, Former DA, New Orleans.

  9. #729
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by pluralist View Post
    Some of the institutions examined and criticised in the Ryan inquiry were also open until relatively recent years, up until the 1990s in some cases.
    It is a ghastly vista - mainly working class women and girls in a society which barred contraception were damned to enslavement if they got pregnant. It didn't matter if through ignorance, bliss, or rape. But the laundries sucked in free labour from other sources - the children of laundry women (some of whom became pregnant inside the laundries/institutions) Last night's RTE programme "No Country for Women" contained an account of how in the 1990s women lived in a shed at the back of High Park house, water running down the walls, their old coats on for heat, with only hard chairs to sit on. The children, if not adopted, were not educated but made to work. Many did not survive and burials were erratically recorded. I met a woman five years ago who was in her mid forties, was born in a laundry, put to work in one as a child, and only escaped in her 20s by legging it and hiding out for weeks in the Stephens Green shrubberies (DCC is now busy removing park shrubberies to prevent homeless people finding refuge there). It is quite possible that some of those women are next door to High Park still effectively incarcerated in the nursing home there. Charlie Haughey laughed that many of the children were 'children of TDs'. Episiotomy (butchery of women to ensure endless births), the bar on contraception, bar on some medical treatments for cancer for women of childbearing age (this still seems to be going on) just in case they were pregnant, forcing women to carry dying foetuses/babies to full term, forcing raped children to give birth, stealing babies and selling them, ach !!! this is not the past it goes on in different forms - lack of mental health care, lack of homes, unpaid internships and 12 bunks in a room, inhumane conditions for refugees/asylum seekers, families packed into a single room in a hotel, or into the hub regimens, I don't think the underlying social urge to grind down women and anyone socially marginal has gone away at all.
    “ 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

  10. #730
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    I agree that there's a class element to all of this. I wasn't aware of the Haughey quote, but apparently Brian Lenihan allegedly declaimed 'get me out of this god-forsaken place' to his government driver while visiting a 'care' institution.

    They knew.
    "If you go far enough to either extreme of the political spectrum, Communist or fascist, you'll find hard-eyed men with guns who believe that anybody who doesn't think as they do should be incarcerated or exterminated. " - Jim Garrison, Former DA, New Orleans.

  11. #731
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    " a class element" is too simplistic, imo.

    In that era society was divided by class, certainly, but also by religious and morality issues.

    The real scandal was the attitude of the so called christian majority, who accepted that people should and could be enslaved.

    Politicians, as usual, followed the views of the majority. Until Noel Brown there was no supportive voice at the political level. In his autobiography he praises certain of his civil servants for their support, but it is recorded by other commentators that the cabinet minute rejecting the mother and child legislation was written bu John Charles McQuaid and drafted by John A Costelloe into the minutes.

  12. #732
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by barrym View Post
    " a class element" is too simplistic, imo.

    In that era society was divided by class, certainly, but also by religious and morality issues.

    The real scandal was the attitude of the so called christian majority, who accepted that people should and could be enslaved.

    Politicians, as usual, followed the views of the majority. Until Noel Brown there was no supportive voice at the political level. In his autobiography he praises certain of his civil servants for their support, but it is recorded by other commentators that the cabinet minute rejecting the mother and child legislation was written bu John Charles McQuaid and drafted by John A Costelloe into the minutes.
    Barrym - consider this - RTE and aligned establishment commentators drip feed the line that 'we were all responsible'. What is completely discounted by them is the position of power held by the Church and local clergy - this power was 'moral'/religious, economic, social - control of schools, hospitals and institutions and was supported by the State - Gardai, Courts and local authorities. Having a child outside wedlock was an offence.

    The idea that the institutions happened because people wanted to get rid of their pregnant daughters because of 'shame' means what ? Who would have shamed them ? Priests, first to read people's names out at Mass and exclude people from sacraments etc.

    The Institutions were State funded under the British.
    “ 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

  13. #733
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Barrym - consider this - RTE and aligned establishment commentators drip feed the line that 'we were all responsible'. What is completely discounted by them is the position of power held by the Church and local clergy - this power was 'moral'/religious, economic, social - control of schools, hospitals and institutions and was supported by the State - Gardai, Courts and local authorities. Having a child outside wedlock was an offence.

    The idea that the institutions happened because people wanted to get rid of their pregnant daughters because of 'shame' means what ? Who would have shamed them ? Priests, first to read people's names out at Mass and exclude people from sacraments etc.

    The Institutions were State funded under the British.
    Yes, but the kicker in the tail, funded by the British... Never formally closed??

    Consider the statement of our present non-catholic, gay, taoiseach, critises an attempt to protest at the papal visit in 2018, backed up by the leader of the opposition.

    Has anything really changed? It is still politically important to be seen to support the church.

  14. #734
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Big public meeting last night in the inner city joint hosted by SocDem Councillor Gary Gannon (formerly of the Tony Gregory campaign) , Clare O Connor, Head of Policy and Strategy at Action Against Sexual Violence Ireland and another
    https://www.facebook.com/gary.gannon...30209807720312
    https://twitter.com/1GaryGannon?ref_...Ctwgr%5Eauthor
    http://www.politics.ie/forum/justice...quiry-266.html
    Last edited by GregTimo; 29-06-2018 at 07:48 AM.

  15. #735
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    Default Re: Justice for the Magdalenes may not be far off

    Quote Originally Posted by barrym View Post
    Yes, but the kicker in the tail, funded by the British... Never formally closed??

    Consider the statement of our present non-catholic, gay, taoiseach, critises an attempt to protest at the papal visit in 2018, backed up by the leader of the opposition.

    Has anything really changed? It is still politically important to be seen to support the church.
    NEVER FORMALLY CLOSED AND WOMEN ARE STILL INCARCERATED.

    Why does nobody want to address this ? Women locked up as slaves in the 1950s and 60s are still 'wards of court' or otherwise confined without choice in 'homes' run by the likes of the inappropriately titled "Sisters of Charity".

    Just confirmed in an RTE Documentary on One, about Peggy McCarthy and her daughter. This woman died after being turned away, with a labour in pre-eclampsia, by two Council and nun - run hospitals in Kerry, died by the side of a road in a cab. Her daughter survived her, but when she was 18 her grandmother died and a priest descended, took her away from her grandfather, and had her incarcerated in the laundry system. She is now in her 70s in a nun-run institution. I can make a good guess at where she is. She wanted to go home to Kerry. I can guarantee that no one has ever offered her that choice.

    IT IS STILL GOING ON.
    “ 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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