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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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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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”

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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


Magdalene Laundry

Irish Examiner: ‘€23m in redress paid to Magdalene Laundry Survivors’

Some 624 women held in Magdalene laundries have to date received a lump sum payment of more than €23m under a government redress scheme.

The payments work out at an average of €36,858.

According to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, some 807 applications have been received under the Magdalene Laundries Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme.

She said 103 applications were refused, as the women had not been admitted to one of the 12 specified institutions.

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If you or someone you know was resident in a Magdalene Laundry in Ireland, please get in touch with IWSSN to find out more about this redress scheme. Call us on: 0207 267 9997 or email: info@irishsurvivorsuk.org.uk


Magdalene Laundry

Irish Mirror: ‘Cllr Mannix Flynn demands former Magdalene laundry is preserved as a memorial’

A former Magdalene Laundry should be snapped up by the state and preserved as a memorial, Cllr Mannix Flynn has said.

The building in Donnybrook, Dublin is up for sale and expected to sell for up to €3 million.

It was formerly run by the Religious Sisters of Charity and was sold by the order in the late 1990s and then run as a private laundry until 2006.

The building, which dates back to the late 18th century, is mostly still intact and contains reminders of it’s dark history, including ledgers, old machinery, religious iconography and some of the dorms.

Independent Cllr Flynn is currently running a petition to have the building and its contents preserved as a memorial.

Click here to read the full article. To sign Mannix’s petition click here .


Independent.IE: ‘Flowers laid in memory of Ross laundry women’

The third annual Flowers for Magdalene’s memorial ceremony took place in St. Stephen’s Cemetery, New Ross, recently drawing people from across the region.

A large crowd gathered despite the inclement weather conditions to lay flowers in homage to women who died behind the walls of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Magdalene Laundry. With the demolition of St Aidan’s Industrial school, which formed part of the Good Shepherd campus in New Ross, in December 2015, the communal grave in St Stephen’s cemetery offers the only visual reminder of the Magdalene legacy in New Ross.

It is estimated that at least 1,663 former Magdalene women are buried in cemeteries across Ireland, many of them in unmarked graves.

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Magdalene Laundry

The Irish Times: ‘Rite & Reason: Death of an inspirational Magdalene survivor’

At 14, her father left her at the Good Shepherd Magdalene Laundry in New Ross, Co Wexford. Barely a teenager, she worked for nearly five years cleaning society’s dirty laundry. She was denied her right to an education. She was punished for insolence and her hair forcibly cut.
She was sent at 19 to work in a Dublin hospital, also run by nuns. She fled to England. But London was not far enough away. She travelled to Boston, where she worked for most of her life. She never married.
Having rekindled her faith in the Catholic Church, she still demurred when the Good Shepherd congregation offered to meet her in 2010. She keenly felt the stigma attached to her past. She protected her family’s reputation at all cost.

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