The Irish Times reported on the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD’s visit to IWSSN’s Whispering Hope Centre, based in Kentish Town, London. The Taoiseach visited Whispering Hope to find out more about the support it has provided for Survivors living in the UK, and to meet with Magdalene Laundry Women who have benefited from the support offered by the Centre and financial awards from the Irish Department of Justice and Equality via the Restorative Justice Scheme.
Reporting on the visit, The Irish Times said:
“Earlier, Mr Kenny visited the Irish Women’s Survivors Support Network office in Kentish town, where he met survivors of the Magdalen Laundries, some for the first time since he issued a formal State apology to the women in an emotional speech in the Dáil in 2012
The Whispering Hope project has helped British-based survivors. A total of 76 women have used its services to access the Government-sponsored restorative justice and recompense schemes.
The driving force behind the campaign for 15 years has been Cllr Sally Mulready and Phyllis Morgan.
Ms Mulready said the project has been highly successful and many of the women were now at a stage where they wanted to move forward.
“They owe it to their children and grandchildren to move forward. The focus is on reconciliation and – it’s an old-fashioned word but an important one – forgiveness.”
She said Mr Kenny’s apology to the Dáil had removed the stigma carried by many of the Magdalen survivors.
Talking to the group Mr Kenny recalled his four-hour meeting with the women in the Irish embassy in London four years ago. He referred specifically to the women singing the song Whispering Hope to him.
“One of the most powerful impacts in my career in politics has been when I met with you that day [and] the singing of Whispering Hope,” he said.”
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