| 2.2°C Belfast

Close

Premium


Voices of women and girls forced into homes silenced for too long while others made decisions and spoke for them

Suzanne Breen


It's long past the time that they were granted the respect of having their individual voices heard, writes Suzanne Breen

Close

The research report on Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene laundries in Northern Ireland at Stormont following its publication (Liam McBurney/PA)

The research report on Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene laundries in Northern Ireland at Stormont following its publication (Liam McBurney/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster speaking to the media at Stormont following the publication of the research report on Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene laundries in Northern Ireland. Liam McBurney/PA Wire

First Minister Arlene Foster speaking to the media at Stormont following the publication of the research report on Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene laundries in Northern Ireland. Liam McBurney/PA Wire

PA

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International

Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International

/

The research report on Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene laundries in Northern Ireland at Stormont following its publication (Liam McBurney/PA)

On almost every one of the 533 pages in the report on Northern Ireland’s mother and baby homes, and Magdalene laundries, there’s a story that would break your heart.

Women and girls, as young as 12, who had done no wrong, treated in the most callous and inhuman fashion. Not a few dozen or a few hundred – 14,000 females were housed in these ‘institutions’ because to call them ‘homes’ is a falsehood.

On countless occasions, women and girls tried to escape the Magdalene laundries but were routinely returned by police. A desperate 14-year-old repeatedly ran away from St Mary’s in Derry in the 1970s. She was brought back by the RUC and British Army. There was no shortage of cross-community co-operation to support a misogynist system.


Privacy