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Justice for Magdalenes

About Justice for Magdalenes

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In 1993, upon the discovery of the 133 graves at High Park Convent, a small group of women formed the Magdalen Memorial Committee (MMC). Originally founded by Patricia McDonald, Bláthnaid Ní Chinnéide and Margo Kelly, they sought to establish a memorial to the 133 women. This included a park bench established in St. Stephen's Green and a ceremony which took place in 1996. Later, when the remains exhumed from High Park Convent were reinterred at Glasnevin cemetery, memorial gravestones were installed. Poignant tributes are often left at these gravesites including flowers, toys and children's shoes.

In 2002, the Residential Institutions Redress Act was passed, which addressed abuse and neglect suffered by thousands of Irish children in industrial schools and other state-licensed residential institutions. Unfortunately, Magdalene survivors were omitted from this group and to date have been unable to achieve justice for the horrors they endured.

Once the MMC's goals were met it eventually disbanded until 2003, when Mary Raftery broke the story of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the High Park exhumations. At that point, several women, some of whom had mothers who spent time behind Magdalene walls, desired to continue the work done by the MMC and they resurrected the organisation which would eventually become Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) in 2004. JFM expanded their mission to include legislative and reform work to ensure that survivors of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries would not be forgotten, despite the State and religious orders' tacit refusal to acknowledge or apologise to them.

Justice for Magdalenes seeks to promote and represent the interests of the Magdalene women, to respectfully promote equality and seek justice for the women formerly incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries and to seek the establishment and improvements of support as well as advisory and re-integration services provided for survivors. The organisation is based in County Cavan and we operate three phone lines available to anyone in Ireland, the United States and United Kingdom. We also maintain this website, Facebook group, Twitter feed, and an online group through Yahoo! Groups open to academics, researchers, supporters and others with an interest in the Laundries.

Justice for Magdalenes is not affiliated with nor supported by any other survivors' support group.

© 2003-2013 Justice for Magdalenes / JFM Research  |  Crocknahattina, Bailieborough, Co. Cavan  |  E-mail: [email protected]
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