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Council supports justice for ‘Magdalene’ women

first_imgEmail NewsLocal NewsCouncil supports justice for ‘Magdalene’ womenBy admin – July 7, 2011 528 JUSTICE for the thousands of women who were incarcerated in Magdalene laundries, including Limerick, has the backing of City Council. Cllr Maurice Quinlivan, referring to the proposals to decide how the government will respond to demands for an independent investigation into the Magdalene laundries, said:Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “This is an opportunity to show support and to acknowledge the suffering of these women and the failure of the State to protect them and ensure that restitution is made”.He has submitted a Notice of Motion to support the Justice for Magdalenes Survivor Advocacy Group’s call on the State to offer a formal apology to survivors. The United Nations Committee Against Torture expressed its grave concern at the failure to protect the women and girls involuntarily confined in Magdalene laundries.Pointing out that thousands were placed in laundries in Limerick and across the State, Cllr Quinlivan said:“They were treated as prisoners, worked like slaves and were subjected to horrifying levels of physical and psychological abuse – these were so called fallen women held against their will and dehumanised by the people in charge. “It is now almost 20 years since the exhumation of remains of 155 women held in the Magdalene laundry in Drumcondra, many buried without names or death certificates, which led to the formation of the Magdalene Memorial Committee, now called Justice for the Magdalenes”.Referring to the previous government’s argument that as the laundries were privately owned and operated, they did not come under the terms of the Residential Institutions Redress Board, Cllr Quinlivan said that the United Nations Committee against Torture had been informed that the courts regularly sent women and girls to the laundries as an alternative to jail, while others were transferred from industrial schools, the responsibility of the State.Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, who lived close to the Good Shepherd Convent in Limerick, cautioned against victimising all nuns, many of whom, he said, are now elderly.“They should not all be blackened – some of them were probably victimised also”. Cllr John Gilligan said there had been “good and bad in these institutions.“Some years ago, I was disturbed to discover that the biggest headstone in Mount St Lawrence Cemetery had no names inscribed. I drew this to the attention of the council and we succeeded in having 170 names of women who had been in the Limerick laundry inscribed.“I recall hearing of a young girl who was kidnapped off the streets in Limerick and put into the laundry – she disappeared behind walls, and I also think of the rich people in Limerick who had their shirts laundered by these girls and women – we all deserve criticism”. Advertisement Facebook Twittercenter_img ‘I was disturbed to discover that the biggest headstone in Mount St Lawrence Cemetery had no names inscribed….’ Print Linkedin WhatsApp Previous articleGrand Prix racing returns to city streetsNext article‘Until Bill produced, we’re debating a press release’ – Cllr Kennedy adminlast_img read more