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    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Mary Frances Therese Raftery (b 21 December 1957 – d 10 January 2012) Memorial Thread

    It's the sixth anniversary of Mary Raftery's passing.

    On this anniversary of her death, I want to celebrate with you some of journalist and television producer Mary Raftery's extraordinary achievements.

    Mary Raftery was catapulted into national prominence and became a household name for her 1999 RTE three-part documentary series ‘States of Fear.’ This groundbreaking series exposed the extensive and systematic physical and sexual abuse of vulnerable children in reformatories and industrial schools run by religious orders on behalf of a malfeasant Irish government, who funded and supervised them. It shone an intense spotlight on the collusion of the Catholic Church and Irish State, and their cover-ups.

    Mary was known as the “most important journalist of her generation.” Mary's personal integrity deeply penetrated each layer of her prodigious body of work and she was an irrepressible force of nature commanding enormous respect. Mary’s difficult path:


    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.


    The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost



    Below are quotes that describe Mary’s lifetime achievements and her strength of character.



    …. Ireland’s long history of imprisoning women and children in industrial schools, reformatories, mother and baby homes, Magdalene laundries, and psychiatric facilities ...”

    “…. It [Catholic Church] acted in partnership with the state and elites, creating an institutional nexus that *rejected social-democratic solutions to poverty* and pushed back against women’s liberation.”

    “Instead, the effects of poverty became transformed into moral issues to be solved by institutionalization — a process that undergirded Ireland’s carceral state ….”

    “… the criminalization of women and children, particularly unmarried mothers who were shepherded by the thousands into Magdalene laundries and mother and baby homes.”

    “The laundries were a nineteenth-century institution that evolved from a place of temporary respite for women … to *a carceral institution in independent Ireland.*”

    “Women worked within them under terrible conditions for no pay, some remaining for short periods, others for their entire lives.”

    “The mother and baby homes … emerged in 1922 during the Irish Free State, and were officially endorsed by the Church and state authorities in 1927 as a solution to illegitimacy . Unwed pregnant women were consigned to the homes to give birth and were required to work in the home for two years afterward, unless they had money to leave.”

    “Their children were usually adopted illegally from the homes ….


    An historical overview by Sarah-Anne Buckley, lecturer in History at National University of Ireland, Galway
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/05/c...her-baby-homes


    … She had put a great deal of thought into Ireland and how it might be. She believed that how people were treated, and how citizens were cared for, and how people tolerated each other, were more important issues than dreams about nations, or arguments about identity. The more she thought about the system of industrial schools and the sexual abuse of children in an independent Ireland, the more determined she became that she would deal with this as a television producer and that her work would make the maximum impact, while remaining fair and just.”

    Mary’s colleague and friend Colm Toibin
    https://www.independent.ie/lifestyle...-26811859.html


    Of course, Raftery has encountered the worst of people, too. States of Fear, broadcast on RTE in 1999, cracked open the issue of institutional child abuse. She was responsible for the 2002 Prime Time programme Cardinal Secrets, which explosively revealed how the Church and gardai had both ignored reports of abuse, and she is now about to open our eyes to how we made medical cases of many, many Irish people who were not mad, but often simply didn't fit in. Raftery's working life has, for the most part, been about tragedy and suffering, and people's ability to ignore and deny it, but ask her what her work is about and she will say it's about stories. It is, she says, about letting people tell their stories, allowing them to speak and actually listening to them, with a view to helping others. … and giving voice to an unheard Ireland has become her defining work.”

    “Raftery joined RTE in 1984 ….


    Irish Independent
    September 4 2011 5:00 AM
    https://www.independent.ie/incoming/...-26767838.html


    There can be no better thing than that a person “lay down their life for a friend”. …. For she gave her life for survivors. Her journalistic skills … used to uncover secrets that were a blemish on the Catholic Church in Ireland. Not only on the church but on the State, who in collusion failed to protect its children. ….”

    “Mary was clear about ‘truth’, clear about ‘transparency’, clear about ‘justice’. And she was equally clear that the ‘pen is mightier than the sword’. She was clear that facts, written and expressed with skill, intelligence, urgency and passion would achieve more than mega-confrontations or violent acts. Her research – uncovering, discovering and laid before us – would achieve multiple agendas. It would expose truth, uncover lies, show cover-up, give courage to survivors, give voice to the voiceless, vindicate survivors, and form a bond between us that allowed us to hold our heads up high. ….


    Dr Margaret Kennedy, Founder, Macsas
    Survivors Acknowledge Mary for her Clarity of Vision…
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/l...alist-1.443516


    …. Within days of that Cardinal Secrets programme, the then justice minister Michael McDowell agreed that an inquiry would be set up. It became the Murphy Commission, and it produced the Murphy report. ….”

    “What you’ve seen in the Ryan report, in the Ferns report, in the Murphy report and in the Cloyne report, is that very few of the priests were ever convicted. And none of the bishops ever saw the inside of a courtroom, despite their acts of concealment having led to the abuse of more children. So for many of the victims, the only justice they ever received was the placing on the public record of their experiences. Thanks to Mary, the Murphy report and the Ryan report are now on the public record of this country, and will continue to inform us for many years.


    Andrew Madden
    Abuse victim on record
    The Journal
    Column:


    With her documentary States of Fear, however, Mary Raftery exposed a horrifying litany of torment – emotional, physical and sexual – suffered by the children at these schools, and made the case that abuse had been widespread, systematic and covered up by both Church and state authorities.”

    “The programme was aired in three parts in 1999 on Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE and the public outcry which followed prompted the government of Bertie Ahern to issue a public apology to victims for the state’s failure to come to their rescue. He set up what became known as the Ryan Commission, which, after a 10-year investigation, issued a devastating report in 2009 confirming Mary Raftery’s key findings.”

    “The Ryan report sparked a period of agonised debate which touched on the unholy alliance between Catholic Church and Irish state forged under Eamon de Valera. ….


    The Telegraph, UK, Obituary
    Mary Raftery - Telegraph



    Another monumental work, ‘Cardinal Secrets’ docu was broadcast on RTE, in October 2002, as a Prime Time special. It was produced by Mary Raftery and reported by Mick Peelo. It led to the establishment of the Murphy Commission of Investigation into Clerical Sexual Abuse in Dublin Archdiocese, which published the Murphy Report in 2009

    It exposed widespread clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin diocese and its systematic cover up by the Archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell (he was later made a Cardinal).



    The programme claimed the Church had failed to give information about abuser priests to the police and a 'clean' reference was issued for a priest who was alleged to have abused children.”

    “From 1988, Cardinal Connell continued to insure the Archdiocese of Dublin against liability from the victims of clerical abuse. He arranged for compensation payments to be made from a 'Stewardship Trust' that was kept secret until 2003
    .”

    Irish Independent
    https://www.independent.ie/irish-new...-35471536.html


    …. The documentary examined and detailed how Cardinal Connell and a number of his bishops obstructed the course of justice in the case of many priests involved in the rape of children. There can be no more obfuscation, or blathering about canon law. The facts are clear.”

    “…. The talk of resignation is laughable, it is much more serious than that. If any person did not release relevant information to gardaí investigating any crime, much less a rape, would we not expect the full rigours of the law to be applied to them? ….


    Tom O’Connor, Batterstown, Co Meath.
    Reaction to ‘Cardinal Secrets’
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/l...rets-1.1100694


    …. One thing is now painfully clear: only a State-appointed judicial inquiry will suffice to deal with this loathsome chapter in Irish social history.”

    “The Catholic Church's internal "audit" under its appointee, Judge Hussey, is not good enough. In Australia and the US, state authority was involved immediately to deal with criminal cover- ups and collusion by senior church office-holders. And real results and real justice was realised. ….”


    Paul Moran, Kingston Park, Dublin 16.
    Response to ‘Cardinal Secrets’:
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/l...rets-1.1100694


    Many of us priests have been saying for some considerable time that the institutional Church has become more concerned with preserving itself than doing what it was founded to do, telling about Christ. …”.

    “…. Of course Dr Desmond Connell should go. What is he doing in such a position at this time of his life, anyway? But his going is only the beginning of what is needed: a major dismantling of the institution, until it is again in the service of the people, rather than being their master. - Yours, etc.,


    Father Tony Flannery, Esker, Co Galway.
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/l...tary-1.1101290


    ….. When one sees bishops hiding behind lawyers one knows that the game is up and that the bishops have failed in their office”.

    “The fact that children have been abused by priests and religious is a scandal in itself and a grave evil. … these child abusers where (sic) facilitated by their superiors.”

    “Their activities were covered up; and whenever they came close to being exposed they were simply moved on to another community until again the same allegations were made and again they were covered up, and so on. ….”

    “…. Remember, silence is consent. ….”

    “Finally, where in all of this are the civil authorities? - Yours, etc.
    ”,

    Alan Hynes, Gleann Noinin, College Road, Galway.
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/l...tary-1.1101290



    'Behind the Walls' was Mary’s final documentary two-part series, produced and written by her on the history of psychiatric institutions in Ireland. It was broadcast on RTE One on 5 September (Part 1) and 12 September 2011 (Part 2).



    “Irish people have been too willing to surrender their civic responsibilities to a variety of authorities and elites and then to claim ignorance when abuses arise. … psychiatric hospitals were used for generations to stifle social dissent and incarcerate difficult or unwanted individuals.”

    “…. By the 1950s, this State led the world in the incidence of psychiatric illness as families and various authorities used a hugely expanded system of mental hospitals to lock up troublesome or non-conforming members of society. …. But RTÉ’s documentary series on psychiatric hospitals, Behind the Walls, shows clearly that such treatment was also commonplace in State-run institutions, overseen by prominent medical practitioners, where barbaric therapies were routinely employed.”

    “Complicity between the State, its elites and the church in directing and controlling all of these institutions was a defining feature. The number of citizens detained in psychiatric hospitals peaked at 21,000 in the 1960s and has since fallen to 2,800. The number in prison on the other hand averaged about 600 in those decades but has since risen to 4,500. …”



    Irish Times
    Mon, Sep 12, 2011
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/a...ntrol-1.597386


    Her last documentary, Behind the Walls (2011), revealed that in the 1950s Ireland led the world in locking up its people in psychiatric hospitals; on a per-capita basis it was even ahead of the Soviet Union. Brutal and squalid state-run mental institutions, she found, were “dumping grounds for Irish social problems”, locking away for life not only the mentally ill, but people who were simply regarded as an inconvenience by their families. These included, typically, the “unmarried sister on the farm, getting in the way of your brother marrying” and, in one case, a woman whose cause of insanity was listed as ‘husband in California.’ … ‘Huge numbers of people ended up in psychiatric institutions in Ireland, often due to social causes

    Lines of naked people, faeces covering the floors, food served up with pitchforks, people deliberately kept in a state of animal-like existence – not exactly the kind of descriptions one expects to come across in Department of Health files.”

    “The report concerned the Clonmel District Mental Hospital, as it was then, still open today and known as St Luke’s psychiatric hospital. It was written in 1958 by the assistant inspector of mental hospitals, Dr Ramsey, and delivered to the Department of Health in September of that year.”


    Dr Damien Brennan of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin


    Dr Brennan looked at figures closer to home, in particular comparing numbers locked up in psychiatric hospitals with those in prisons. This presents a truly remarkable picture of Irish society in the mid-decades of the 20th century, where the number of prisoners rarely exceeded 600. In 1958, the year of Dr Ramsey’s Clonmel report, this number was 369.”

    “Compare this with the 900 psychiatric patients locked up in Clonmel alone. Unlike prisoners, they had had no due process, no trial, no hearing, no appeal, and no end to their sentences. Stripped of their basic human rights, they were consigned, often for decades, to conditions so bad that one official in the Department of Health wrote he “was thoroughly shocked at the abysmally low standards in Clonmel
    .”

    What makes this even more horrific are the very clear statements in Department of Health files that Clonmel was not unique.

    ‘Behind the Walls’ a two-part documentary series produced and written by Mary Raftery
    Irish Times
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/r...itals-1.591339



    Mary Raftery's painstaking research work empowered Justice for Magdalenes (JFM). For example:



    In Aug 2003 she wrote of the 1993 exhumation of 155 women’s remains at the High Park Magdalene Laundry in Drumcondra, Dublin. As a result, a small group of women formed the Magdalene memorial committee to establish a memorial to the women. ….”

    “Once the committee’s goals were met it eventually disbanded until 2003, when Raftery broke the story of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the High Park exhumations.”

    “Several women, some of whom had mothers who spent time behind the Magdalene walls, resurrected the organisation which in 2004 emerged to become Justice for Magdalenes.”

    “Writing in The Irish Times, Raftery revealed disturbing details regarding the exhumation, cremation, and reburial of the women who had lived and died at the asylum operated by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity.”

    “Buried between 1858 and 1984 and interred anonymously, these women were denied a proper burial and final resting place. The religious order sought and received the required state licence to exhume the bodies in 1993. However, the licence listed only 133 sets of remains. Death certificates were missing and it was through Raftery’s revelations, 10 years later, that Irish society learned about the 22 bodies for which the nuns could not account
    .”

    The Irish Examiner
    Raftery helped to lift lid on abuse | Irish Examiner



    Investigative journalist Mary supported Justice For Magdalenes up until her untimely death aged 54:



    Sir, – Mary Raftery’s commitment to recovering the story of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries is part of her impressive legacy of investigative journalism.”


    “Twice in the past year she wrote opinion pieces on the need to bring about justice for Magdalene survivors. She identified the State’s moral obligation to redress historic injustices. She recognised families’ and society’s responsibility for these women – the daughters, sisters, aunts who were summarily disappeared: the invisible workforce who cleansed our dirty linen. And, Mary Raftery demanded that the four religious congregations account for the women in their ‘care’.”

    “Back in August 2003, she wrote her influential exposé on the 1993 exhumation of 155 women’s remains at the High Park Magdalene Laundry, Drumcondra. That piece acted as a major catalyst in the rejuvenation of the Magdalene Memorial Committee and, ultimately, the formation of Justice for Magdalenes (JFM). Entitled “Restoring dignity to Magdalens,” the article offered a searing critique of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. The issues raised – the discovery of an additional 22 bodies, the lack of death certificates for 54 women, the lack of names for 24 women, and significant discrepancies between the names listed on the exhumation licence issued by the Department of the Environment and the headstone subsequently erected at Glasnevin Cemetery where the bodies were cremated and reinterred – were alarming at the time; they are disconcerting still because as yet they remain unresolved.”

    “These details would have gone unnoticed but for Mary Raftery’s particular brand of investigative journalism. She began the previous April by contacting the nuns seeking to clarify the aforementioned anomalies. She obtained copies of the original and revised exhumation orders, she tracked down death certificates for individual women, compared names on the Glasnevin gravestone with those on the exhumation licence. Ultimately, she submitted a list of 19 detailed questions for the attention of Sr Ann Marie Ryan at High Park.”

    “To read those questions now is to fully appreciate Mary Raftery’s determination to get at the truth – she asked why so many deaths went unregistered, she asked why the order did not know the first and last names of numerous women who spent their lives working in the institution, she sought explanation for the discrepancies between the exhumation order and the headstone, she asked how much “did the exhumation, cremation, and reburial cost? Did you pay it all? Did the purchaser of the land pay any of it?” And, she asked why the order decided “to cremate the remains” and whether they were “aware of Canon Law 1176 in this regard?”

    “She concluded by referencing the fact that “a number of religious orders have already apologised for their role in the industrial schools” before asking “Has your order done so? Do you feel this is either appropriate or warranted?” Her questions would go unanswered.”

    “Looking back, it matters less that Sr Ryan’s response (a brief statement issued the week the article was scheduled to appear) is notable only for its evasion”. “Rather, it seems important we recognise Mary Raftery’s work practices as worthy of emulation by everyone interested in better understanding Ireland’s recent past.”

    “Her life’s work was fuelled by the conviction that all human beings deserve dignity and respect. She sought to restore dignity to Ireland’s Magdalene women and in doing so she inspired all of us in the Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) campaign to do likewise. – Yours, etc,


    James M Smith, Associate Professor,
    English Department & Irish Studies Program,
    Boston College, Massachusetts, US.

    Prof James Smith, Boston College, is a Friend of Justice for Magdalenes
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/l...alist-1.444190

    Further reading:
    https://www.magdalenelaundries.com/jfm_booklet.pdf



    For me, and others, too, it was this fearless warrior’s ability to painstakingly marshal cold hard facts and evidence, and then powerfully communicate her message to a wide audience, which left an indelible impression on my life.

    I wonder what Mary would have made of the Bon Secours religious order’s disposal of children’s bodies in the sewage structure at St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway? Doubtless she would have confronted the Bon Secours religious order and Irish State head on. Further, Mary would not have countenanced the government’s deflections, misrepresentations and trampling underfoot of the elderly survivors from these homes.

    Furthermore, Mary would have forensically examined the findings of the government’s Inter-departmental Committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, which was tasked to investigate the Magdalene laundries (their report was released in February 2013). She would have laid bare the McAleese Report’s farrago of lies, omissions and cover-ups to protect both Church and Irish State.



    Part 2 continued below...
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    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Part 2 continued...



    “UNCAT 'deeply regrets that the State party has not undertaken an independent, thorough and effective investigation into allegations of ill-treatment of women and children in the Magdalen Laundries or prosecuted and punished the perpetrators, as recommended in its previous concluding observations'.”

    http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties...RL_28491_E.pdf



    27 July 2017

    jfmresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Gaer-Questions-on-Magdalenes-27.7.17.pdf (copy and paste into your browser)

    “We’re also concerned to hear that the State Party has repeatedly claimed to have no basis for believing that serious harm was perpetrated against women and girls in Magdalene laundries."

    "How can the government say to us that it believes that the Inter-departmental Committee report—the McAleese Committee—established that there was not systematic ill-treatment in the Magdalene Laundries when the terms of reference of the committee and the report did not extend to investigating allegations of abuse or establishing the whereabouts and identities of those who died in the laundries?"

    "How can the government claim it established no systematic ill-treatment when it made no public call for evidence and had no subpoena powers? Doesn’t the government recognise that there’s a great deal of information about past abuses at these institutions that has yet to be uncovered?"

    "I say this because we have received information suggesting that there is indeed a great deal of evidence of past abuse, and it has not been officially examined."

    "We are concerned that the Inter-departmental Committee — I’ll call it the ‘IDC’ — may not have investigated the archives of the mother houses and their congregational archives, including those abroad."

    "We’re also concerned that the IDC may not have investigated — at least not thoroughly — the diocesan archives relating to religious congregations operating the Magdalene Laundries. Can you confirm whether or not it did examine those archives?"

    "And, specifically, we have received information from an individual [Professor James M Smith, Boston College, US] who had access to the archives of the diocese of Galway, stating that he discovered significant material demonstrating the extensive involvement of the Bishop of Galway in the operations and financial dealings of the Sisters of Mercy Galway Magdalene — one of two laundries for which no records survive."

    "This individual also brought Senator McAleese’s office’s attention to the existence of these files. He provided the Senator with a summary of the materials, but says they were not accurately reflected in the McAleese report. The files reportedly document physical abuse, and the Galway Magdalene’s practice of calling the Irish police to prevent family members from removing women from the institutions."

    "In 2014, when this individual notified a member of the restorative justice implementation team at the Irish Ministry of Justice that the Galway diocesan archive also contained a list of 107 women in the Galway Magdalene Laundry in December 1952 — organised by name, town, land of origin, country — he subsequently received a threatening letter from the archivist of the Diocese warning him not to write about the archive without permission, and insisting he destroy copies of the material, and asserting that the archive of Bishop Michael Browne — who was Bishop of Galway from 1937 to 1976 — is now ‘embargoed’."

    "So, my question to you: If the government’s position is that the women who were victimised at the Magdalene Laundries have a responsibility to pursue justice for themselves, we would expect to see the government at least facilitate their efforts to do so by providing access to relevant information that it has, or that it knows exists."

    "In this regard, it’s really quite troubling to hear that the Inter-departmental committee destroyed its copies of evidence received from the religious congregations that ran the Magdalene Laundries, and that the government will not provide the public with access to archive of state files, or to the archives from the religious congregations."

    "So I would like to ask you, Sir: What is preventing the government from providing public access to the archive of state records gathered by the Inter-departmental Committee?"

    "Can you or members of the delegation confirm whether the government has considered information in the Galway diocesan archive concerning the Galway Magdalene Laundry, which the Minister of Justice was specifically informed about in 2014? And whether the fact that this information was discovered outside the Inter-departmental Committee process has any impact on its [the government’s] claim that an independent investigation mechanism into the Magdalene Laundries is unnecessary?"

    "Will the government consider amending the Statute of Limitations so that civil claims can be brought in forward in the interest of justice?"

    "Will the government consider creating a publicly accessible archive of material about institutions, including the Magdalene laundries, to which religious congregations and the hierarchy and the state would be compelled to contribute? ….”

    Transcript of Felice Gaer’s [UNCAT] questions to the Irish State regarding the Magdalene Laundries:
    (Also see Link to this Transcript Below: UNCAT 2017 – Justice for Magdalenes Research)*

    * UNCAT 2017 – Justice for Magdalenes Research


    Few of us as journalists can claim that we made a difference. Mary Raftery did, particularly to the lives of those abuse victims whose stories she helped to tell. But this collection achieves something else. It is a handbook for the active citizen, the sort of active, questioning citizen who has always been discouraged in our culture of obedience, of rote-learning, of craven consensus, a culture that has prompted the title of this book: Do They Think We’re Eejits?

    Olivia O'Leary review of “Do They Think We’re Eejits?: A Selection of The Irish Times Columns 2003-2009,” by Mary Raftery

    https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/b...tery-1.1342906


    St Joseph's Industrial School in Letterfrack remains the location of one of the most haunting images to emerge from Ireland's 52 industrial schools. It is of small boys forced to run endlessly around a bare stone yard for hours in the wet and the cold, holding their sheets above their heads. These were the bed-wetters, and the idea was that they had to run until their sheets were dry. If they slowed or flagged, they were beaten. The problem, of course, was that in the persistent rain and mist of Connemara, the sheets just got wetter and heavier. But still the children were made to run for hours.”

    “This kind of warped, sadistic cruelty was the hallmark of Letterfrack.


    An article written by Mary Raftery

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/who-...tobin-1.396183



    Letterfrack was run at considerable profit, as a major business, on the backs of child slave labour. In addition, the school received government funding for each child incarcerated there.



    "It was cataclysmic and it was like being in the eye of a hurricane, because there had never been any [revelation] like that before," she says. "The scale was monumental. The Church came back, of course, and they used their pet commentators and there was an assault on the series. I knew when I made the programme that I'd have to be accessible to talk about it, because there wasn't a stable of experts, it was original research, but I didn't think it would go on and on. I didn't think I'd have to do it to the degree I have, or for as long as I have.”

    “They were calling me a Nazi, citing blood libel, a whole stable of them," she continues. "But there's absolute silence from those quarters since the Ryan Report.


    Mary talks about the backlash after ‘States of Fear’ series was broadcast

    September 4 2011 5:00 AM
    https://www.independent.ie/incoming/...-26767838.html


    Without Mary's determination, so much of what we know about our collective past would still remain hidden.

    Abuse victim Andrew Madden, author of 'Altar Boy: A Story of Life After Abuse'

    Mary Raftery Journalism Fund

    The Mary Raftery Journalism Fund



    Mary Raftery’s tremendous legacy lives on and inspires others to speak out about all kinds of injustices and human rights abuses. I, a tiny droplet in a vast ocean, am merely trying to keep Hope afloat in the great wake left by her passing.



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    Emily Davison Emily Davison is online now

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    An nice picture at the top Starry might be an idea.
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    HereWeGoAgain HereWeGoAgain is offline

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    Mary did the State 'some' service.

    For survivors of Institutional Care facilities, she represented a beacon of hope.

    For the first time they were listened to, believed and heard.

    Mary's legacy continues to impact.

    She is the torch that lights the way in their fight for justice.

    RIP Mary R.

    One of my favourite tributes following her untimely death, comes from Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin.


    “Bringing the truth out is always a positive thing even though it may be a painful truth. I believe that through her exposition of sins of the past, and of the moment, that the church is a better place for children and a place which has learned many lessons,”



    Sadly while the words carry some weight, they are lost when one witnesses today, the closing of ranks once again as Mother and Baby Home families and survivors seek documents related to their case or we see members of the Clergy who committed crimes against children, continuously shielded by the Institution.
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    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Thank you Emily. Mary was a no fuss person. She planned her own humanist funeral with a simple wicker casket. So poignant.


    There are some lovely photos of her on the Net:



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    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereWeGoAgain View Post
    Mary did the State 'some' service.

    For survivors of Institutional Care facilities, she represented a beacon of hope.

    For the first time they were listened to, believed and heard.

    Mary's legacy continues to impact.

    She is the torch that lights the way in their fight for justice.

    RIP Mary R.

    One of my favourite tributes following her untimely death, comes from Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin.


    “Bringing the truth out is always a positive thing even though it may be a painful truth. I believe that through her exposition of sins of the past, and of the moment, that the church is a better place for children and a place which has learned many lessons,”



    Sadly while the words carry some weight, they are lost when one witnesses today, the closing of ranks once again as Mother and Baby Home families and survivors seek documents related to their case or we see members of the Clergy who committed crimes against children, continuously shielded by the Institution.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/b...tery-1.1342906

    The last time I heard Mary Raftery on the radio, she was taking grief (from) m a canon lawyer. He was telling her that Cardinal Brady had no responsibility to report crimes of sex abuse to the police. When Mary referred to “misprision of felony”, a now defunct Irish law requiring such reporting, the priest told her petulantly that she had mispronounced the word misprision. His was a petty but revealing performance, an unseemly flouncing of clerical skirts that this woman had dared to measure the all-powerful Roman Catholic Church by the moral standards the rest of us observe. Mary stayed calm.
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    HereWeGoAgain HereWeGoAgain is offline

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    Dedicated Page Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin Goldenbridgeinmate39
    Survivor of an Irish Industrial *School*.

    Farewell Mary Raftery R.I.P. from survivors of institutional child abuse


    Thank you, Mary. Survivors of industrial *schools* and clerical child abuse are deeply indebted to you for making their voices heard. You listened to their lonely voices as they cried out in the wilderness and you did something about their longstanding anguish. You stood up against the rigours of the church; the political and Irish broadcasting establishments and let it be known that you were not going to take any nonsense, even to the point that it sadly made you (and your colleague) very ill. You won out in the end, despite everything. As Irish history will be kind to you Mary (as indeed it will be to survivors of industrial *schools* and child clerical abuse). From the bottom of our ruined and painful hearts we thank you for your strong support of our cause.

    https://goldenbridgeinmate39.wordpre...ildhood-abuse/
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    HereWeGoAgain HereWeGoAgain is offline

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    Mary Raftery’s life was short when considered in terms of years. Yet she did more in those years for Ireland, for children, for abuse survivors and for humanity than most could ever dream of accomplishing. The Irish culture was in desperate need of liberation from the chains of clericalism. Mary Raftery, more than anyone else, wielded the ax that shattered those stifling and destructive bonds.



    - Tom Doyle priest, canon lawyer, addictions therapist and longtime supporter of justice and compassion for clergy sex abuse victims. He is a co-author of the first report ever issued to the U.S. bishops on clergy sex abuse, in 1986.


    Irish journalist whose documentary uncovered sex abuse dies | The God Squad
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    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereWeGoAgain View Post


    Mary Raftery’s life was short when considered in terms of years. Yet she did more in those years for Ireland, for children, for abuse survivors and for humanity than most could ever dream of accomplishing. The Irish culture was in desperate need of liberation from the chains of clericalism. Mary Raftery, more than anyone else, wielded the ax that shattered those stifling and destructive bonds.



    - Tom Doyle priest, canon lawyer, addictions therapist and longtime supporter of justice and compassion for clergy sex abuse victims. He is a co-author of the first report ever issued to the U.S. bishops on clergy sex abuse, in 1986.


    Irish journalist whose documentary uncovered sex abuse dies | The God Squad


    This is a good overview with Tom Doyle (US Dominican Order).


    Irish journalist whose documentary uncovered sex abuse dies | The God Squad



    I first met Mary in 2002, when she was working on Cardinal Secrets. She wanted to interview me for the film, so I flew from Germany, where I was living at the time, to Dublin.

    I met Mary and her co-producer, Mick Peelo, and we went to dinner at a small Thai restaurant. I liked her from the start. She was unassuming, gentle and obviously brilliant. But what struck me more than anything was her compassion and quiet outrage at the spectacle of sexual and physical violation of the innocent by the church. Our only point of contention was when Mary wanted me to wear a Roman collar for the interview. By then, I didn’t even own one, and was loath to put on the garb again for many reasons, not the least of which was my fear that abuse survivors would see me in it and think I had betrayed them.

    Mary and Mick were adamant: “If you wear that thing, even the pious Irish old ladies will believe every word that comes out of your mouth.”

    She won. I located a clergy collar and carried it in a shopping bag to the RTE studio the next day. I put it on in the men’s room and sat for the interview.

    Cardinal Secrets was a success, certainly not because I was in it, but because Mary and Mick were thorough, fearless and direct. The result: the investigation by the Murphy Commission, whose report was issued in November 2009.


    She was right about the clerical collar! I laughed.


    I read when Mary was 24 years old she went for a job interview with RTE, she told her future employer everything that she thought was wrong with them. She still landed the job. In hindsight, she used to chuckle about her younger self.



    https://www.rte.ie/news/special-repo...770-rafterym1/







    Despite her comfortable upbringing, Raftery never felt at home in the gilded groves of Mount Anville, where the 12-year-old regularly clashed with authority, constantly asking why and penning an infamous essay on the notorious Pope Julius II. Eventually, her parents decided to move her to Pembroke School, where in her fifth year she and another girl became the first female students to study (maths and physics) at the all-male St Conleth’s. This lead to Engineering at UCD, where her instinctive journalism took over. If she took anything from science, it was a rigour that was to prove crucial in her later work.

    So much fun to be around.
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    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereWeGoAgain View Post
    Dedicated Page Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin Goldenbridgeinmate39
    Survivor of an Irish Industrial *School*.

    Farewell Mary Raftery R.I.P. from survivors of institutional child abuse


    Thank you, Mary. Survivors of industrial *schools* and clerical child abuse are deeply indebted to you for making their voices heard. You listened to their lonely voices as they cried out in the wilderness and you did something about their longstanding anguish. You stood up against the rigours of the church; the political and Irish broadcasting establishments and let it be known that you were not going to take any nonsense, even to the point that it sadly made you (and your colleague) very ill. You won out in the end, despite everything. As Irish history will be kind to you Mary (as indeed it will be to survivors of industrial *schools* and child clerical abuse). From the bottom of our ruined and painful hearts we thank you for your strong support of our cause.

    https://goldenbridgeinmate39.wordpre...ildhood-abuse/

    I enjoyed reading the dedicated page, published just after Mary died. It is heartbreaking as many shared.


    <Heartbroken about Mary Raftery. If we had just five more as courageous, the country would be transformed>


    For this thread I would like readers to revisit Mary's life next year on this date to share their thoughts and memories, and again the next.
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