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Justice for Magdalenes

About Justice for Magdalenes

Justice for Magdalenes is comprised of survivors, the family members of survivors, long-time activists in human rights and adoption reform, academics, researchers, acrhivists and representatives from the political community. An Ad Hoc Oireachtas Committee was formed in 2009 to work with JFM's committee and advisory, led by Mr. Tom Kitt T.D. (retired, now JFM advisory committee); Michael Kennedy T.D. and Kathleen Lynch T.D.

Justice for Magdalenes Committee
Mari Steed Mari T. Steed
JFM Committee director, US
Mari is the daughter of a Magdalene survivor, adopted to the U.S. from Ireland and mother to a daughter relinquished to adoption in the U.S. She is reunited with her mother, daughter and extended family. Mari has worked in adoption activism for nearly twenty years, with rights groups Adoption Rights Alliance, Bastard Nation (US), Adopted Citizens of Eire (ACE, US), and provided testimony to the US ratification of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. Mari co-founded Justice for Magdalenes in 2003. She resides outside Philadelphia, US.
Claire McGettrick Claire McGettrick
JFM Committee PRO
Claire is an adopted person and though her natural mother was not a Magdalene, after revelations emerged about the High Park exhumations in 2003 she felt compelled to get involved and thus co-founded Justice for Magdalenes. Claire has also been an adoption rights activist for some time, most recently having co-founded Adoption Rights Alliance. She resides in Cavan, Ireland
Angela Murphy Angela Murphy
Project Co-ordinator, Kells Resource Centre; JFM Committee
Angela is an adopted person and daughter of a Magdalene, her natural mother having spent a total of 50 years in different Magdalene Laundries. Angela is also an experienced adoption rights activist and co-founder of Justice for Magdalenes. She resides in Cavan, Ireland
Justice for Magdalenes Advisory Committee
Judy Campbell Judy Campbell
Adoption and survivors’ rights advocate; researcher and archivist, UK
Judy has devoted the last ten years of her life to helping adopted people and Magdalene survivors, starting with a cousin who had been sent to the US. She has become renowned in the Irish adoption community for her research skills and for the sensitive, caring way she assists families in reconnecting. She resides in London and is active with the Irish Centre there, working with many among the survivor population in the UK
Tom Kitt Tom Kitt
T.D. (FF - retired), Dublin South (2008-2010, retired); Irish Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Defence (2004-2008); Minister for E Government and Information Society (2004-2008); Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (2002-2004); Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment (1997-2002)
Tom Kitt is a senior politician of many years standing. Serving first as a Dublin City Councillor in 1979 and elected to the Dail Eireann in 1987, Tom advanced through numerous roles, evidencing leadership, calm, and perspective. Having served as a stalwart supporter in the campaign for justice for Magdalene survivors and as leader of our Ad Hoc Oireachtas Committee, Mr. Kitt has now graciously joined the JFM advisory committee to continue the fight in his "retirement." He resides in Dublin.
Sandra McAvoy Sandra McAvoy
Lecturer, College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences; Women’s Sttdies, University College Cork
Sandra teaches on and co-ordinates UCC's M.A. in Women's Studies Course. She also teaches on Adult Ed. Women's Studies outreach courses. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin (History and Political Science), she has an M.A. in Women's Studies and a Ph.D. in History. Sandra has become a strong voice and invaluable advisor to JFM, hosting and giving lectures on the topic of the Laundries. She resides in Cork.
Katherine O'Donnell Katherine O'Donnell
Senior Lecturer, Women’s Studies, University College Dublin
Katherine holds a B.A. (NUI), H.Dip. in Journalism (DCU), M.A. (Boston College), a Ph.D. (NUI), and currently lectures at UCD. Like her peer Sandra McAvoy, Katherine brings a wealth of experience in Irish women's history to her role on the JFM advisory committee. She has hosted and spoken at numerous lectures, and written extensively on feminism and women's history.
Maeve O'Rourke Maeve O'Rourke
Harvard Law School Global Human Rights Fellow at Equality Now, London
Maeve's work with Equality Now, an international human rights organisation which works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls, lends gravitas to the work of JFM. She is a graduate of University College Dublin (BCL) and Harvard Law School (LLM) and has previously held research positions at the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, Harvard Law School Human Rights Program, University of Minnesota Law School Human Rights Center and International Women’s Rights Action Watch. Maeve also co-authored JFM's submissiosn to the IHRC and UN Committee Against Torture, as well as making the formal presentation to the latter in Geneva. She resides in London.
James Smith James M. Smith
Associate Professor, English Department and Irish Studies Program, Boston College
In addition to his teaching duties, James has published articles in Signs, The Journal of the History of Sexuality, Éire-Ireland: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Irish Studies, and ELH. His book, Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment (Notre Dame 2007: Manchester 2008) was awarded the 2007 Donald Murphy prize for distinguished first book from the American Conference for Irish Studies. He also edited two Irish National Tales: Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent and Sydney Owenson’s The Wild Irish Girl (Boston, 2005), as well as a special double issue of the journal Eire-Ireland addressing Irish childhood (Summer, 2009) James is an invaluable member of our advisory committee, and recently co-authored JFM's submissiosn to the Irish Human Rights Commission and UN Committee Against Torture.

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