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No Redress For Victims Of Magdalen Laundries
 
# 1 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 18:45
 
 

It's been reported in the Irish Times today that the former inmates of the church run Magdalen laundries will not be able to access the monies of the institutional abuse redress board because the government have deemed that the Magdalen launderies were not funded by the State. Despicable b*stards.

For anyone who isn't aware. Magdalen laundries were places run by nuns where pregnant unmarried women were sent to have their babies who were then forcibly removed from them to be given up for adoption. The women were effectively imprisoned in the laundries and suffered horrific physical and mental abuse by the Nuns - they were treated as slave labour. Many died as inmates and were buried in mass graves. The last Magdalen laundry closed as recently as 1996.

Article here:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0918/12242547999 etc ... etc ...

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# 2 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 18:46
 
 
Someone said :
My mother was in two of these institutions and mentally/ physically abused. She is in a mess with a personality disorder. Apparently this makes her a poor witness, so no redress for her. Ironic. It didn't just ruin her life. My whole family are affected..to this day

(moved to this thread - JK)
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# 3 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:03
 
 
Someone said :

(moved to this thread - JK)

God, that is awful. Were the girls released from these institutions when they reached 18? It is my understanding that some were kept well into later life. When did the laundries first start operating?
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# 4 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:10
 
 
http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/
Justice of Magdalenes has received official notification that the Irish State will neither apologise to survivors of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries nor establish a distinct redress scheme to provide justice for these victims of institutional abuse

Then link offered in the OP does not work for me for some reason, so here is the press release:
http://www.magdalenelaundries.com/press_releases.htm
18 Sept 2009

Justice of Magdalenes has received official notification that the Irish State will neither apologise to survivors of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries nor establish a distinct redress scheme to provide justice for these victims of institutional abuse

Mr. Batt O'Keeffe, Minister for Education, was responding to draft language towards an Apology and distinct redress scheme circulated by Justice for Magdalenes to all members of Daíl Éireann in early July, 2009. The minister responded in a letter directed to Mr. Tom Kitt, TD, who made representations on our behalf. The Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) members are deeply appreciative of Mr. Kitt's efforts.

In his letter dated September 4, 2009, Minister O'Keeffe states that, "in terms of establishing a distinct scheme for former employees of the Magdalen laundries, the situation in relation to children who were taken into the laundries privately or who entered the laundries as adults is quite different to persons who were resident in State-run institutions." An exception to this, he said, would be children who were transferred from a State-regulated institution to a Magdalen laundry and suffered abuse while resident there. "The justification for this [latter] provision is that the State was still responsible for the welfare and protection of children transferred to a Magdalen laundry from a State-regulated institution provided they had not been officially discharged from the scheduled institution," he said.

Coming a few short months after passage in the Daíl of a motion to "Cherish All of the Children of the Nation Equally," Justice for Magdalenes challenges the Minister's attempt to limit the state's liability for abuses of children in Magdalen institutions according to the parameters of the Residential Institutions Redress Act (2002). The Constitution of the Republic of Ireland (Art. 42, Sec. 3, sub. 2) defines the State's obligation to ensure that all children receive a basic education. Our organisation has been contacted by a number of survivors in recent months, all of whom were put into a Magdalene institution as children, some as young as 12 and 14 years old. These survivors were denied an education among other things. They are now denied redress because the Minister for Education continues to deny the State's obligation to protect their rights of citizens of the state.

Justice for Magdalenes rejects as insulting and inaccurate the Minister's characterisation of survivors as "former employees of the Magdalen Laundries." Professor Jim Smith, author of Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment, said, "The women in these abusive institutions were never ‘employees.' They never received payment for their labour and they were denied many of their basic human rights. However, if the Minister insists that they were "employees" then surely the State had a responsibility to ensure that the laundries complied with the Factories Acts in terms of safe work practices, fair pay, regular work days, etc."

Justice for Magdalenes also rejects that Minister's assertion that "[t]he State did not refer individuals to Magdalen Laundries nor was it complicit in referring individuals to them."

The Irish courts routinely referred women to various Magdalen laundries upon receiving suspended sentences for a variety of crimes. These women were escorted by the State's Probation Officers upon entry to the Laundries. There is no record of the Probation Officers checking to ensure such women were released upon the end of their suggested period of confinement. The Justice Act, 1960 (sec. 9, sub section 1) also provided for the use of the Sean Mac Dermott Street Magdalene Asylum (known as the Gloucester Street Laundry) as a remand home for young women awaiting trial. Section 14 of the same act empowered the Minister for Finance to pay a capitation grant for women so-referred. The Minister for Education can refer both matters to the Minister for Justice who is in a position to verify such historic practices.

The aforementioned practices, among a number of others, make manifest the State's complicity, collusion and active participation in the operation and function of Ireland's Magdalen Laundries.

Furthermore, JFM demands that the Minister for Justice introduce legislation for a distinct redress scheme for survivors of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries as outlined by JFM and submitted to all politicians in Dáil Éireann on July 3 (link copy below). JFM will also make available a copy of Minister Batt O'Keeffe's reply to Mr. Kitt upon request (link copy below).

There are PDF files for people to examine for themselves if they click on the link.

It is a despicable state of affairs. So the people who ran the laundries are getting away with it, then... hmmm, I personally find this unacceptable.

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# 5 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:12
 
 
I'd be happy enough that such organisations no longer exist.
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# 6 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:15
 
 
That's a good stance, Flamey, as it means the no more lives would be destroyed.

However, some sort of redress would have to be made for those whose lives were made hell as inmates in magdalene laundries.

Some girls were thrown thee just because they had the crime of "being far too attractive for their own good." though the vast majority were seen as 'fallen women' which is a disgraceful way of judging people.

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# 7 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:41
 
 
Someone said :
That's a good stance, Flamey, as it means the no more lives would be destroyed.

However, some sort of redress would have to be made for those whose lives were made hell as inmates in magdalene laundries.

Some girls were thrown thee just because they had the crime of "being far too attractive for their own good." though the vast majority were seen as 'fallen women' which is a disgraceful way of judging people.

You say 'thrown there', I suspect that many were thrown there by their parent/s, should the blame not be placed with them first
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# 8 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:44
 
 
Really? That's awful, if it were true. Who knows.
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# 9 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:48
 
 
It really does beggar belief that the government could be so callous to these victims - but sure the former inmates of Magdalen laundries aren't prominent bankers or developers are they now?

And look at the "sweetheart"! deal the govt did with the religious orders implicated in widerspread child torture to limit the amount the orders had to pay over to the victims - yes, let the powerful and influential get away and get the taxpayer to foot the rest of the bill. (NAMA anyone?)

Turns my stomach..
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# 10 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:49
 
 
Someone said :

You say 'thrown there', I suspect that many were thrown there by their parent/s, should the blame not be placed with them first

I doubt the parent/s knew what went on in the institutions.
I dont think parent/s would purposely subject there daughters to such horror.
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# 11 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:54
 
 
Someone said :

I doubt the parent/s knew what went on in the institutions.
I dont think parent/s would purposely subject there daughters to such horror.

So a van turned up out of the blue and the driver took your daughter away for being either: too good looking, a bit flighty, had a limp, or pregnant - and gave you a docket for goods received?
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# 12 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:55
 
 
Someone said :

I doubt the parent/s knew what went on in the institutions.
I dont think parent/s would purposely subject there daughters to such horror.

I'm afraid plenty of parents who threw their girls into these institutions knew full well what went on in them - many would have wished their daughters dead than have the "shame" of an unmarried pregnancy bring scandal to the family.

And they almost got their wish, which most families refusing to even acknowledge the existence of thier "fallen" daughers for the rest of thier lives - leaving them to work their miserable lives away in the Magdalen laundries until they died and were buried in mass graves in unconsecrated ground. Such were the ways of Catholic Taliban Ireland.
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# 13 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:57
 
 
Someone said :

I doubt the parent/s knew what went on in the institutions.
I dont think parent/s would purposely subject there daughters to such horror.

of course they knew.they were just too blinded and afraid of the church to do anything about it.
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# 14 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 19:58
 
 
Someone said :

I doubt the parent/s knew what went on in the institutions.
I dont think parent/s would purposely subject there daughters to such horror.

The parents (society) were influenced by the church, so even gossip impacted people in a way that drove them to punish children for drawing attention to the family. It was 'accepted' that this was appropriate action re unwanted pregnancies, and obviously the tangible sin was committed by the female.
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# 15 : Friday 18-9-2009 @ 20:02
 
 
Someone said :

I'm afraid plenty of parents who threw their girls into these institutions knew full well what went on in them - many would have wished their daughters dead than have the "shame" of an unmarried pregnancy bring scandal to the family.

And they almost got their wish, which most families refusing to even acknowledge the existence of thier "fallen" daughers for the rest of thier lives - leaving them to work their miserable lives away in the Magdalen laundries until they died and were buried in mass graves in unconsecrated ground. Such were the ways of Catholic Taliban Ireland.

I know the perants wanted them punished, but want them dead is a bit over the top. Id say disowned is more appropriate. Im not saying the perants where not to blame, but most female parents would not wish there child dead unlike the father which would have had the last word on the matter. As u well know fathers where harsh back in the day.
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