Monthly Archives: June 2011

Survivor Advocacy group will meet Minister for Justice.

Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), the survivor advocacy group, will meet with Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, and Minister for State, Kathleen Lynch, next week as part of the government’s proposed series of meetings with “groups representing former residents of the Magdalene Laundries.”

JFM will submit its Narrative of State Interaction with the Magdalene Laundries, a lengthy document accompanied by about four hundred pages of appendices. It is hoped this material will be shared with the incoming Independent Chairperson of the Inter-departmental Committee. The document points to State interaction in the following government departments: Justice, Education, Health (and Local Government), Defence, Social Protection, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Finance. It also includes a section on the Religious Congregations’ various funding sources for the Magdalene Laundries. The document underscores the need for the proposed Committee to examine not only what the State did in the past, but also what it failed to do. It is offered in the spirit of expediting this process and moving forward to the desired goals of bringing restorative justice and reparations to all survivors of the laundries.

The JFM delegation will comprise JFM PRO and co-founder Claire McGettrick and JFM advisory committee members Prof. James Smith (Boston College), Katherine O’Donnell (UCD), and Maeve O’Rourke (Harvard Law School 2010 Global Human Rights Fellow). It is hoped JFM committee director, Mari Steed, will join the meeting from Philadelphia via Skype.

JFM will also conduct a public forum on Tuesday, 5th July, at UCD’s Humanities Institute of Ireland on the Belfield Campus. Beginning at 10 a.m. in the “Seminar Room,” JFM will again present A Narrative of State Interaction with the Magdalene Laundries to members of the public. The forum will also be advertised via Facebook, Twitter and other media outlets. Members of the media are welcome to attend, and members of the JFM delegation will make themselves available afterward for questions/interviews. For directions, see http://www.ucd.ie/hii/facilities/directionstothehii/. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

JFM will also present to the Oireachtas Ad Hoc Committee on the Magdalene Laundries on Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. in the AV/Media Room in Leinster House. This Committee is “all party,” just as JFM has always maintained that the issue crosses party politics. The meeting was arranged and is hosted by Maureen O’Sullivan, T.D. (IND), and will be chaired by Caoimhghin O’Caoláin, T.D. (SF).