Letters to The Irish Times
13th December 2010

One month has passed since the Irish Human Rights Commission published its assessment and recommendation to the Government regarding human rights violations in the Magdalene laundries. One month has passed since the Government referred the assessment to the Attorney General for his consideration and review (Home News, November 10th). What is the status of the Attorney General’s review? Can the Minister for Justice indicate if and when the Government’s response to the IHRC report will be made public?

There is a population of elderly and ageing Magdalene survivors for whom this matter is deeply significant, indeed urgent. They are still waiting for some small measure of restorative justice – an apology, redress, compensation – and the dignity that comes with it. Justice for Magdalenes first circulated its draft language for a proposed apology and distinct redress scheme on July 3rd, 2009. Survivors have waited 17 months. The Minister for Justice should do everything in his power to expedite this process for their sakes.

It remains in the Government’s gift to respond to the IHRC assessment document without further delay. – Yours, etc,

Associate Professor,
English Department Irish Studies Program,
Boston College,
Chestnut Hill,
Massachusetts, US.


4 Responses to “Response to Magdalene survivors”

  1. amere-brush-hand says:

    Paddy, I think you have been a very strong voice for survivors and you have put up many articles about the Magdalene survivors. A lot of people appreciate that you have never compromised yourself in your dealings with the Irish government.

    Personally, I get really upset at the way the Irish government have never taken responsibility for crimes committed against these women since the founding of the state.I can’t believe that the print media and broadcast media have not held the government to account for their inability to redress what happened to these women.

    The apology by Bertie Ahern was just a publicity stunt, an exercise in damage limitation. How could it not have been when the Magdalene survivors were excluded.Then they had the nerve to gag survivors and threaten them with fines and imprisonment if they ever revealed names of their abusers in public.Anyway Paddy, fair play to you for your honesty and courage over the years.

  2. Paddy says:

    I, like so many others would love to be able to answer the questions you pose. I can only speak for myself when I say the the people of this country, myself included, have either buried our heads in the sand, ostrich like or else we’re of the “I’m alright mentality”. If either of the two comments I’ve made here are true then all I can say is SHAME ON ALL OF US Paddy.

  3. amere-brush-hand says:

    Paddy, how long more is this charade going to go on? It just shows how callous and cruel the political leaders in this country are. These women were incarcerated indefinitely as slaves in these hell holes and had their lives utterly destroyed.

    How are they getting away with this? Why are prominent Irish people not speaking out against this injustice. Why are the media so silent? What is wrong with this country that people are not outraged by the indifference and callousness of the government?

  4. It shouldnt be too hard to calculate how much pay is owed to these ladies. after all thay should at least be payed the same wages as laundry workers outside. after all thier years of hard work