Irish-American activists pressure government over Magdalene Laundries
Irish American activists are seeking to make the Irish government responsible for the maltreatment of young Irish women forced to work in Laundries. According to Mari Steed, spokeswoman of the group Justice for Magdalenes, the Irish government was complicit in the abuse the women suffered. It owes them an apology and compensation.
“Right now we’re encouraging everybody to contact ministers,” she says. “The thing is, we don’t want to lose focus. We’d like to keep the wave rolling.”
Last week, Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe, wrote in response to Parliamentary questions put to his department: “the Magdalene laundries were privately owned and operated establishments which did not come within the responsibility of the State and were not subject to State regulation or supervision.”
But the women were Irish citizens and deserved protection, Justice for Magdalenes asserts. Some were children and should have been at school. The state knew of the abuse and allowed it to go on.
“In 2009 the state is denying any role or function in these institutions,” says James M. Smith, an associate professor at the English department and Irish studies program at Boston College. “But the state’s fingerprints are all over this. The state is now conveniently scapegoating the Catholic Church when in fact church and state were partners throughout most of the twentieth century.”
It is hard to know how many women were in the laundries because the religious orders that ran them have not released their records. When they left the Laundries the women tended to emigrate. Many survivors are in the US.
“There are women in America – women in New York, probably in Philadelphia and Chicago too,” Smith says, “wherever there were large Irish communities in the 1940s and 1950s. Many went into nursing assistant jobs, into healthcare – into institutions, not dissimilar from what theyhad left.”
American parents adopted the children of Magdalene women. “Between 1948 and 1971 more than 2,100 children were brought from Ireland to America for adoption,” Smith explains. “Many of the mothers likely would have been in Magdalene Laundries.”
- Notre Dame sues federal government again...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Smithwick inquiry finds Irish police may...
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
- Why Ireland needs to give its emigrants a...
- Caroline Kennedy “selfie” in Japan reveals...
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Ireland wins top spot on Forbes’ Best Countries
- Sarah Jessica Parker opens her heart to grievin
- Pope Francis calls capitalism “new tyranny”...
Darao: How shallow can a human being become as to be indifferent to the destruction of family stability, the encouragement of male irresponsibility, aUnionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for new flag for Northern Ireland (VIDEO)
Wipe you ass with the union jack Haas is an idiot as wellMarried priests could well be Pope Francis' legacy, says Irish theologian
homosexuality is a normal part of our civilized society. Even the Pope himself says -- who are we to judge. What civilized people should not do isNotre Dame sues federal government again over birth control
The obsessive paranoid conspiracy cultists will always come up with silly theories about World Wide Marxism plots, abortion as a HJiteler conspiracy o