August 26 2017
Survivors of Magdalene laundries have staged a protest outside a former Catholic workhouse in Dublin and called for a memorial and a full redress scheme.
Their action follows the United Nations criticism of Ireland for its lack of an independent and thorough investigation and its call for the prosecution of members of the Catholic Church.
The rally was held off Sean McDermott Street in Dublin, the site of the last Catholic workhouse to be shut, a fortnight after the committee against torture report accused the government of failing to live up to commitments to investigate the religious institutions.
Angela Downey, who was born in Castlepollard mother and baby home after her mother, Mary, had been raped and was sent to a laundry, called for the name of every woman who toiled in the institutions to be immortalised in stone.
Pressing her hand against the crumbling back wall of the workhouse run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, she said: “My mother spent 15 years in the laundries. The children weren’t recognised at all. We weren’t entitled to anything. They should do something for us now.” The survivors are also seeking a day of commemoration to remember those affected by the laundries.
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