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John Buckley McQuaid – Girls Who Lived In Hell

Come gather round, people, wherever you roam.

For Dublin-born, Denmark-based singer/songwriter John Buckley McQuaid has a few things he’d like to say about Irish ways and Irish laws. You can hear them on his new album This Is Where I Keep My Dreams (featuring a schoolboy John, top), which is out on Monday.

The lead single, Girls Who Lived In Hell, is a coruscating critique of the cruelty and sadism of the Magdalene Laundries and the society which spawned them.

John writes:

“The song is inspired by Steve Humphries’ documentary, “Sex In A Cold Climate“. The very idea of a young girl being consigned to a Magdalene Laundry for stealing an apple from a convent tree is so outrageously unfair and unjust – the tip of a veritable iceberg of abuse and degradation.

“So many tragedies have been concealed by complicity, complacency and corruption on a personal and public level. “Girls Who Lived In Hell” makes visible on a visceral level, what the Catholic Church (no admission or apologies as yet forthcoming) and the Irish State (apologies notwithstanding) and certain people, not only wish to forget but to keep forever hidden.

“The last Magdalene Laundry closed in 1996. The Irish Government as a matter of some urgency, passed the “Mother & Baby Homes Bill” in 2020, sealing these archives for 30 years. Nothing ever changes in a land of polished haloes.”

Nick says: The Protest Song is alive and well.

John Buckley McQuaid

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