Historians will also like to write about the Magdalene Laundries. Any chance of opening the McAleese archive which your Dept holds? https://t.co/8Y5RzcOpPz
— Conall Ó Fátharta (@ococonuts) December 21, 2018
A Magdalene laundry in the 1950s; a tweet from Irish Examiner journalist Conall Ó Fátharta in response to a tweet from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in December 2018
A coalition of institutional abuse survivors and supporters has called on all election candidates to commit to setting up a National Archive of Historical Institutional and Care-Related Records.
The Justice for Magdalenes Research group writes:
“Survivors, academics and practitioners call on every election candidate and political party to commit to a National Archive of Historical Institutional and Care-Related Records.
A coalition of institutional abuse survivors and those affected by adoption, along with academic and practising archivists, historians, psychologists, sociologists and lawyers, have called on all election candidates and political parties to commit to establishing a National Archive of historical institutional and care-related records.
The group says that this should be a cross-party commitment, which is urgently acted upon in 2020.
The group has called for the creation of an independent national archive, as an Annex to the existing National Archives, which would provide at a minimum:
- Access to full personal files for institutional abuse survivors and those affected by adoption, including women whose children were unlawfully taken from them;
- Access for family members of those who died while in custody or care to information about their relative’s fate and whereabouts;
- An opportunity for survivors and others to deposit testimony and other information for public access now or in the future;
- Public access to the administrative records of the systems of institutionalisation and adoption in 20th century Ireland, whether currently held by private or State bodies; and
- The extra staffing, training and records management infrastructure (physical and digital) required at the National Archives or appointed body in order to achieve the above.
This call to politicians builds on advocacy work by all members of the coalition over the past months and years.
This work includes: resisting the current Government’s proposed Retention of Records Bill, questioning the secrecy imposed by the ongoing Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, and highlighting to national and international human rights bodies the failure of accountability for Ireland’s ‘historical’ institutional and adoption-related abuses (such as: the refusal to give survivors access to evidence held by the State and Church authorities, the absence of criminal prosecutions, and procedural barriers to survivors accessing the civil courts).
Read the group’s call to action in full here
Previously: ‘Based On The Findings Of The McAleese Report’