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Brady encourages Magdalene survivors in talks with church

Jun 30, 2010

from Genevieve Carbery and Patsy McGarry's entries in

Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady has encouraged Magdalene survivors in their efforts to establish dialogue with religious congregations.

The cardinal met representatives of advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) for two hours at his residence in Armagh on Thursday evening. He said yesterday it was a welcome opportunity to listen to the perspective of the JFM on “the story of the involvement of church, State and society in the former Magdalene laundries”.

“By today’s standards much of what happened at that time is difficult to comprehend,” he said.

....Prof James Smith, of JFM and Boston College, said he was pleased the bishops “seemed to take on board that time is of the essence in bringing restorative justice to this elderly and ageing population. We also underscored that the church’s archives hold the key to detailing the extent of the State’s involvement in the Magdalene system.”

Dr Katherine O’Donnell of UCD’s school of social justice said: “The meeting was particularly productive in identifying that the ethical release of the church’s archives could result in speedy and beneficial actions.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice said it would explore the possibility of a State apology to Magdalene survivors.

....The State was “relying on the fact that an elderly and ageing group . . . will not be in any position to pursue justice through the courts,” Claire McGettrick of JFM said.

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dvanness says:
Jul 19, 2010 03:15 PM

Thank you for posting the recent media coverage of the Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) campaign--"Brady encourages Magdalene survivors ...." I am a member of the JFM Advisory Committee. I also wrote the draft language for an apology and a distinct redress scheme, copies of which are available at No one has apologized to this group of institutional survivors, not Church, not State, not families, not wider society. As a result, JFM has recently approached the Irish Human Rights Commission requesting an official inquiry based on human rights violations. Central to this strategy is the fact that these women--an aging and elderly population--are being denied restorative justice. Please contact me if you have any specific questions regarding the ongoing JFM Campaign. Also, please direct your readers to the website -- we have a link to an online petition that currently has 1,140 signatures from over 45 countries world wide. We appreciate all support, Best wishes, Jim Smith Associate Professor English and Irish Studies Boston College

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