U.S. Magdalene daughter was taken from her mother aged 18 months

Mari Steed pictured with her Mother Josephine

“The government was doing nothing but dragging their feet on this issue until 2011. We had no other choice but to make a human rights case out of it. We took it to the Irish Human Rights Commission and to the UN,” she says.

“I don’t believe for a minute that the government’s response came because they had a change of heart. I believe the UN held their feet to the fire and embarrassed them internationally.”

Meanwhile, for Steed the apology means that the women like her mother can begin to make peace with their difficult pasts.

“They can go about their lives now. I am happy for what’s being done for my mother and women like her,” she says.

“But now I think the floodgates will open on the issue of illegal adoptions. I think that’ll be for the best. We’re at a point in Irish society now where we really just need to clean house.”