Magdalene survivor to speak on radio


A WOMAN who spent her life in institutions, including a Magdalene laundry, will speak on RTÉ Radio this evening of years of abuse and neglect.

Mary Smith says she finds it impossible to forgive those responsible, and concluded that “there is no God . . . Jesus had it easy . . . I would have preferred being crucified to what I’ve been through”.

RTÉ Radio One’s Were You There, presented by Joe Duffy, also includes Fr Niall Ahern, who was wrongly accused and exonerated of child sex abuse. He speaks of the effect it had on him.

Others taking part include former chief rabbi of Ireland David Rosen, Fair Cityactor Tommy O’Neill and Rev Julie Nicholson, an Anglican priest whose daughter was killed in the July 2005 London bombings.

Speaking recently to The Irish Times, Ms Smith recalled how a priest put her mother in a Magdalene home while pregnant with her, and how her own life involved a series of institutions.

In November 2009, she was one of five women who had been in Magdalene laundries, who met senior officials at the Department of Justice. They told the officials that as the State funded some of the laundries after 1979, it had responsibility for women held in them. They also said they had written to religious congregations whom they hoped “would come on board” with compensation.