RTE: ‘Commission investigating Mother and Baby Homes will not examine illegal adoptions’

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes will not be asked to examine illegal adoptions that took place outside such institutions.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the plight of the dwindling number of survivors of the Protestant-run Bethany Home was one reason she had asked the commission to advise on whether the investigation’s scope should be widened.

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Magdalene Laundry

The Star: ‘Canada should apologize for Magdalene laundries, like Ireland, academic says’

Former workers in Magdalene laundries in several countries, including Canada, say they endured abuse and enforced, silent labour for little to no pay.

Some say they were physically and sexually abused, and told over and over again that they were worthless sinners.

Now, a researcher in Newfoundland says Canada should acknowledge its use of the secretive institutions for which Ireland apologized in 2013.

“An apology would be phenomenal,” said associate professor of sociology Rie Croll. She’s writing a book that includes little known Canadian allegations of slave labour and abuse in the now defunct reformatories.

“In Canada, this seems to be perceived as a problem that existed elsewhere,” said Croll, who teaches at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Grenfell Campus.

“There’s more awareness in Australia and there’s a growing awareness in the U.S.”

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Magdalene Laundry

The Western Star: ‘Survivors of Magdalene Laundries deserve peace after years of suffering’

It’s often gut-wrenching, but Dr. Rie Croll says there’s a sense of “urgency” in her research aimed at collecting stories of women forcibly confined in female-only laundries and reformatories before “they are forever lost to history.”

Her current research brings together stories of women from Ireland, Canada and Australia who spent time in institutions known as Magdalene Laundries. Many of these facilities were run by various orders of Roman Catholic nuns. The laundries operated from as early as the 18th Century before the last one closed in Dublin, Ireland 20 years ago.

“While the stated purpose of these institutions was the reform of prostitutes, unwed mothers, and ‘incorrigible’ girls, the stories I’ve gathered tell us that the inmate population contained countless unwanted, stolen, socially inconvenient, disregarded and/or neglected girls and women,” explained Dr. Croll, an associate professor and chair of Teaching and Learning at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.

“Confinement in the laundries — and related reformatories — essentially served to regulate and curtail the sexuality of generations of girls and women while the church exploited all of them as unpaid laundry labourers.”

Dr. Croll says many of the former inmates are still haunted by their experiences. She says silence was strictly enforced within the institutions and the women were forbidden to speak with one another or write to family members about their situations.

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The entrance to the site of a mass grave of hundreds of children who died in the former Bons Secours home for unmarried mothers is seen in Tuam, County Galway

The I Newspaper: “Survivors of Ireland’s notorious homes for ‘fallen women’ where babies were ‘left to die’ speak out”

Catch IWSSN today on pg 26 in The i Newspaper, where our work in supporting the Irish investigation into Mother-and-Baby Homes is covered. Powerfully, clients of ours who are survivors of these homes, speak out about their experiences and the ordeals they suffered from as a result of the Mother-and-Baby Homes.

Two years ago this month, a local historian made a shocking discovery in Tuam, Ireland. In a gravesite near a Mother-and-Baby Home where unmarried women were sent to give birth, the remains of 800 babies were found in a septic tank. This sparked outrage in Ireland and across the world, and an independent investigation was launched to look into what took place at these homes, where over 35,000 women were thought to have been sent.

This article marks this anniversary and appeals to those who have information or experience relating to these homes, to come forward and give evidence confidentially. Please contact us on 0207 267 9997 to find out more.

Click here to read the full article.



Enda Kenny TD - Irish State Apology - BBC Image

The Irish Independent: ‘Taoiseach signals plans to extend voting rights to Irish emigrants’

Mr Kenny said he has asked the new Diaspora Minister Joe McHugh to prioritise allowing Irish living abroad to vote in Presidential elections.
“This is an issue that has been around for a very long time but there have been quite sophisticated advances made in terms of voting from abroad and we need to set out a terms of reference as to the conditions that would apply in terms of who should be eligible to vote,” Mr Kenny said.
Speaking at an event in the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester, Mr Kenny again offered his condolences to the family of murdered MP Jo Cox.

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The Irish times: ‘New project to aid those affected by Mother-and-Baby Homes’

Women and others whose lives were affected by the mother-and-baby homes, including those forcibly adopted as babies, have been urged to avail of a free service to help them prepare witness statements for the commission of investigation into the homes.

Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) and the Adoption Rights Alliance(ARA) have announced a project to offer support to those who wish to make a statement to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

The project, known as Clann, will provide drafting assistance with the help of lawyers from international firm Hogan Lovells.

The company is providing its services pro bono and about 20 lawyers in its London office are already working on the project.

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Irish Examiner: ‘Groups call for urgency on adoption rights legislation’

Adopted people currently have no legal right to their birth certificate or the medical history.

Legislation has been seen as a priority by every Government since 1997, but all have cited the 1998 Supreme Court ruling as a stumbling block. This found the natural mother’s constitutional right to privacy had to be balanced against the child’s constitutional right to identity.

A bill introduced by the last Government in July of last year required adopted people to sign a statutory declaration stating they will respect the wishes of their natural parents if they do not wish to be contacted.

It is also planned to place a new adoption contact register will be placed on a statutory basis and operated by Tusla — the Child and Family Agency.

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Cakes at IWSSN Coffee Morning

Irish TV visits IWSSN’s Whispering Hope Centre in London

Irish TV visit our offices in London to find out more about how we’re supporting Irish survivors in the south of the country.

If you or someone you know is an Irish survivor of institutional care, please get in touch with IWSSN to find out more about our services and how we can support you. Call us on: 0207 267 9997 or email: info@irishsurvivorsuk.org.uk


Irish TV visits IWSSN offices in Manchester

Irish TV visit our offices in Manchester to find out more about how we’re supporting Irish survivors in the north of the country.


If you or someone you know is an Irish survivor of institutional care, please get in touch with IWSSN to find out more about our services and how we can support you. Call us on: 0161 839 7454 or email: deirdre@irishsurvivorsuk.org.uk


Irish Examiner: ‘Mother and Baby Commission yet to decide on extending inquiry’

It comes as adoption groups have reiterated calls for a number of adoption agencies as well as a range of State and private maternity homes to be included in the investigation.

Under its terms of reference, the Mother and Baby Homes Commission will investigate how unmarried mothers and their babies were treated between 1922 and 1998 at 14 State-linked religious institutions.

The three-year inquiry — which has a €23.5m budget — will examine mother and baby homes, county homes, vaccine trials on children, and illegal adoptions where babies were sent abroad.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, the Commission said it “not yet made any decision about recommending any extension of its terms of reference”

Click here to read the full article.

If you or someone you know was resident in a Mother-and-Baby Home in Ireland, please get in touch with IWSSN to find out more about this investigation. Call us on: 0207 267 9997 or email: info@irishsurvivorsuk.org.uk