Magdalene’s lawyer wins family law award

Maeve O’Rourke represented victims of the church-run Magdalene Laundries at the Irish Human Rights Commission, the UN Committee against Torture and the UN Human Rights Council

Maeve O’Rourke (right) photographed at a Justice for Magdalenes press conference earlier this year with (from left) Mari Steed, Claire McGettrick and Katherine O’Donnell.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Maeve O’Rourke (right) photographed at a Justice for Magdalenes press conference earlier this year with (from left) Mari Steed, Claire McGettrick and Katherine O’Donnell. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The only legal representative for the voluntary advocacy group ‘Justice for Magdalenes’ has been announced as the Family Law Awards 2013 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.

While still a student Maeve O’Rourke represented victims of the church-run Magdalene Laundries at the Irish Human Rights Commission, the UN Committee against Torture and the UN Human Rights Council.

Since the Irish Government apologised to the thousands of Magdalene victims, who were forced into unpaid labour between 1922 and 1996, she has also written a follow up report to the UN Committee against Torture, drafted parliamentary questions and corresponded with the President of the Law Reform Commission regarding the reparations process.

Jordan Publishing, who specialise in legal materials, launched the awards in 2010 to recognise the work of family lawyers.

Ms O’Rourke, who is also the daughter of RTÉ broadcaster Sean O’Rourke, was selected as the winner by a judging panel which included heads of different law practitioners’ associations, journal editors and leading industry figures.

She will collect the prize in October at a ceremony in the London Hilton hotel in Mayfair