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TOPIC: Magdalene Launderies
#191498
Barney

Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 4 Days ago  
About 30 years ago, Joni Mitchell wrote and sang this song about institutions in Ireland which took in pregnant and unmarried young ladies.

Run by the Catholic church who had a very dim view of sexual activity out of wedlock. Tuam, a small west coast town was the largest.

It's come to light that thousands of infants were disposed of - either incinerated or buried.

World renowned DNA experts are now descending on a number of the Homes in Ireland - only now 30 years after Joni sang about it...


 
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#191503
hedda

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
"disposed off"? surely after they had died and deaths of infants were very high at the time in Ireland.

It's an emotive term and basically it's what we do with all our dead even if we dress it up with ceremonies (not me- I want to be left on hillside for the Vultures and Buzzards to dine off like the Tibetans do..love to be finally of use )

I know they are investigating the Tuam claims but I thought it was a painstaking job for archeologists as the "crypts" were incredibly fragile.

And surely there has been some sensationalizing in the reporting..basically giving the impression 100s of bodies were flung into a sewer when in fact it was a disused sewer turned into a crypt.

But it wasn't just the Catholics who took a dim view of unmarried mothers etc.

My Irish grandmother (Protestant) was fiercely "conservative" and narrow-minded and reflected much of the thinking at the time.
(mind you I discovered when I had to get my father's birth certificate he was born when she was 16 and had only been married for 5 months )

terrible times for all the Irish

www.irishtimes.com/opinion/rush-to-moral...-the-facts-1.3002786
Rush to moralise over Tuam has run ahead of the facts
While the home was an awful, tragic place, it was not necessarily a site of insanity or evil
 
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#191505
hedda

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
warming to this theme..I missed this at the time..the excellent Oz ABC show Media Watch.

Paul Barry mentions the excellent Mark Colvin (now deceased) who I contacted at the time and said I believe he was wrong and no actual bodies had been found as I had read the original report by the researcher who said she had the records of around 800 babies who had died. The world had put 2 pus 2 together an come up with 5.

He shot me down in flames in no uncertain way (probably because we had previously wrangled about the Jimmy Savile claims)

I got the same reaction when I complained to the BBC who also falsely reported bodies had been found.

www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/episodes/the-t...-behind-tuam/9973480

 
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#191506
Barney

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
The jury is still out on these very sad matters - and your first 'surely' point is particularly uncertain.

A disproportionate number of infants' remains have been found - when compared to the amount of girls incarcerated, even taking into account the higher mortality rates at the time.

Since some of these institutions ceased to operate less than 20 years ago, evidence is available (and being taken from) former residents.

Following the ongoing forensic and historical investigation(s), the report on these homes is eagerly awaited in Ireland - and elsewhere.

It is noteworthy that some of the religious orders involved in the running of these 'industrial schools' have already admitted their failings - and provided compensation.


 
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#191508
Barney

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
As I said these matters are under investigation, and - in line with the tribunal and enquiry culture in Ireland - will probably be legally and formally looked into, when the report is published.

What brought this subject to my attention recently, was the Joni Mitchell song - which I didn't know about; written by her 35 years ago.

Later a movie was made about it - starring Geraldine McEwen, in 2002.

So whilst the homes were well known about - it took yet another whistleblower to get things moving.

Pope Francis was asked about the matter when in Knock last year (Knock is c50 miles from Tuam); he knew nothing about it.


 
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#191509
Misa

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
This from Spiked, in 2014:The Tuam tank: another myth about evil IrelandSo the widely made claim that the bodies of 800 babies had been found in Tuam is not true; no excavation has taken place. The claim that the babies were ‘dumped’ in a tank is not true, according to Corless herself. And the notion that the babies were hurled in with sewage is not correct – apparently the tank had been turned into a crypt. Yet none of these recent revelations, or Corless’s public angst at the widespread warping of her findings, has put a stop to the Heart of Darkness-style coverage of Tuam’s evil, mysterious tank. I think there is more accurate and up-to-date information out there now, but this article gives an idea of how the supposed claim came about.
 
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#191511
Barney

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
The accurate information will emanate from the ongoing excavations and exhumations, currently being undertaken by independent forensic experts and investigators.

Circumstantial and anecdotal evidence exists for maltreatment by the Catholic church - for what was considered by them, as the grave sin of having sex outside marriage.

Parishioners were encouraged by the church to ostracise pregnant young girls, including their families. So sad.

In 'karma terms' - the public has now largely ostracised the church in Ireland (and elsewhere), as a result of paedophile clergy.


A major difference though is that these men had a choice.


None of the girls did....


 
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#191516
hedda

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
Misa wrote:
This from Spiked, in 2014:The Tuam tank: another myth about evil IrelandSo the widely made claim that the bodies of 800 babies had been found in Tuam is not true; no excavation has taken place. The claim that the babies were ‘dumped’ in a tank is not true, according to Corless herself. And the notion that the babies were hurled in with sewage is not correct – apparently the tank had been turned into a crypt. Yet none of these recent revelations, or Corless’s public angst at the widespread warping of her findings, has put a stop to the Heart of Darkness-style coverage of Tuam’s evil, mysterious tank. I think there is more accurate and up-to-date information out there now, but this article gives an idea of how the supposed claim came about.

yes I think that's the same article as in the Irish Times and by the same writer.

If you read the original report by the researcher (she's not a whistle blower as none of this was a secret- just previously lost in the mists of time) the infants died of diseases common at the time such as measles which you can imagine spread quite easily in a home filled with infants.

A doctor would have to sign off on a death but of course- one could speculate a Catholic friendly doctor could cover up malfeasance.

Each cause of death was recorded so there is no mystery here except in a very Irish way (doom & gloom) there are inferences of murder and mayhem and an attack on the Catholic Church for perceived sins in other areas.

The truth is although these orphanages were inadequate and operated in awful conditions and under difficult circumstances with prejudice against unmarried mothers- all of Irish society participated in it via neglect and indifference.

I've described my Protestant Grandmother (rather hypocritical but who knows what she had to put up with at the time?) beliefs but I've spoken to many who had similar grandparents from the era and a similar hardness seemed to be the norm and not unique.

Working class, middle class and upper class Ireland tolerated this as did various governments.

In addition many of the Nuns were themselves young women who joined the Church often because they too felt they would be abandoned by society and found a "home" and "family" within the Catholic Church.

All the Catholics I speak to - some pretty old- seem to have the same experience: lots of kindly older Nuns or priests and a tiny handful of fearsome ones who often form the memories.

And of course, The Pope has just issued a letter mentioning that non-abusive Nuns & priests are being collectively blamed for the sins of a handful.

Now I never attended any religious schools or institutions so can't really speculate too much but I do often talk to my long-time intelligent ex Catholic wife who was brought up in convents and she describes similar ideas to mine with her heavily religious parents who could at the same time have very hard notions about unmarried mothers and such but also be very liberal minded in all other areas such as human and worker's rights etc.
All very Irish I think.
 
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#191522
Barney

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
The Commission is ongoing, and has been for about 5 years - with an annual budget of €7 million.

Most people are just awaiting its conclusions, as speculation (as to what happened in these homes) is meaningless.

However, several extensions in the investigations have had to sought; because of the lack of documentation - particularly death certificates.

Following publication of the report, an inevitable tribunal will decide on the appropriate action(s).


 
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#191524
Barney

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 3 Days ago  
The Sisters of Bon Secours - the religious order which ran the Tuam home - currently owns and operates several prestigious medical facilities in Ireland.

Calls for the disbanding of the other have been made in the Dail - the Irish parliament. With the sale proceeds of their assets (worth many tens of millions of euro) used to pay compensation.

Surprisingly the order has no records for Tuam (or its other homes) - but has been prevailed on, by the government to help fund the ongoing investigation.


 
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#191528
Jo

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 2 Days ago  
Barney wrote:
Later a movie was made about it - starring Geraldine McEwen, in 2002.
Her portrayal of a sinister, sadistic nun in that film was the first time I can recall registering her on screen and as a result I didn't like her as Miss Marple, because I thought she looked and sounded sinister. Much preferred Julia McKenzie, though I think Joan Hickson was far better than either of them.
 
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#191530
Barney

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 2 Days ago  
McEwan*

Hadn't realised she died, over four years ago.


Margaret Rutherford is my favourite Marple.


 
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#191537
Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 2 Days ago  
"IF" there are unaccounted for infant bodies, isn't it likely that stillbirths might have been buried without being registered, to save the poor girls from having the stigma of an unmarried pregnancy following them all their lives?
 
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#191541
tdf
User Offline Click here to see the profile of this user
Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 2 Days ago  
hedda wrote:
"disposed off"? surely after they had died and deaths of infants were very high at the time in Ireland.

It's an emotive term and basically it's what we do with all our dead even if we dress it up with ceremonies (not me- I want to be left on hillside for the Vultures and Buzzards to dine off like the Tibetans do..love to be finally of use )

I know they are investigating the Tuam claims but I thought it was a painstaking job for archeologists as the "crypts" were incredibly fragile.

And surely there has been some sensationalizing in the reporting..basically giving the impression 100s of bodies were flung into a sewer when in fact it was a disused sewer turned into a crypt.

But it wasn't just the Catholics who took a dim view of unmarried mothers etc.

My Irish grandmother (Protestant) was fiercely "conservative" and narrow-minded and reflected much of the thinking at the time.
(mind you I discovered when I had to get my father's birth certificate he was born when she was 16 and had only been married for 5 months )

terrible times for all the Irish

www.irishtimes.com/opinion/rush-to-moral...-the-facts-1.3002786
Rush to moralise over Tuam has run ahead of the facts
While the home was an awful, tragic place, it was not necessarily a site of insanity or evil


While I agree with much of this, I believe it has been shown that the infant mortality rate was unusually high in some of these homes compared to the rest of Ireland.
 
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#191543
Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 2 Days ago  
tdf wrote:
hedda wrote:
"disposed off"? surely after they had died and deaths of infants were very high at the time in Ireland.

It's an emotive term and basically it's what we do with all our dead even if we dress it up with ceremonies (not me- I want to be left on hillside for the Vultures and Buzzards to dine off like the Tibetans do..love to be finally of use )

I know they are investigating the Tuam claims but I thought it was a painstaking job for archeologists as the "crypts" were incredibly fragile.

And surely there has been some sensationalizing in the reporting..basically giving the impression 100s of bodies were flung into a sewer when in fact it was a disused sewer turned into a crypt.

But it wasn't just the Catholics who took a dim view of unmarried mothers etc.

My Irish grandmother (Protestant) was fiercely "conservative" and narrow-minded and reflected much of the thinking at the time.
(mind you I discovered when I had to get my father's birth certificate he was born when she was 16 and had only been married for 5 months )

terrible times for all the Irish

www.irishtimes.com/opinion/rush-to-moral...-the-facts-1.3002786
Rush to moralise over Tuam has run ahead of the facts
While the home was an awful, tragic place, it was not necessarily a site of insanity or evil


While I agree with much of this, I believe it has been shown that the infant mortality rate was unusually high in some of these homes compared to the rest of Ireland.


Infant mortality would be higher due to poverty, stress, youth etc, which would apply to many of the ladies who were in the laundries.
 
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#191545
Barney

Re:Magdalene Launderies 1 Week, 2 Days ago  
tdf wrote:
I believe it has been shown that the infant mortality rate was unusually high in some of these homes compared to the rest of Ireland


Sadly, extremely high.

Children born out of wedlock, were evil.

And insignificant.

Community status was immediately lost if a family member became pregnant - in their valley of the squinting windows.

'Send her to the home'




 
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