Raftery columns gave victims 'dignified space'
Mary Robinson after yesterday's book launch, with David Waddell, Mary Raftery's husband, their son Ben, editor Sheila Ahern and (behind) Irish Times deputy editor Denis Staunton
Mary Raftery must have been “nodding her head quietly” this week as the Taoiseach offered a State apology to the Magdalene women, former president Mary Robinson said at a book launch of the late journalist’s columns.
“It is appropriate, even ironic, that this selection of articles is published this week,” Ms Robinson said yesterday in the National Library of Ireland. Raftery’s skill as a journalist was to tell home truths “long before we as a people were ready to acknowledge our defects” and the apology to the Magdalene women “can truly be seen as part of Mary’s legacy”.
Mrs Robinson said Raftery, who died in 2012, listened to victims of abuse and gave their voice a “dignified space” in her Irish Times columns.
She made a point of “justice and very real empathy”.
The collection of articles should be required reading for any journalism student, she said, “representing, as they do, the essence of investigative journalism at its very best”.
Raftery’s husband David Waddell said proceeds from the sales of the book will go to the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund to “promote and foster professional and ethical investigative journalism”.