There have been recent discussions on mental wellbeing and depression and contributing social factors.
The below subject has been discussed previously, at least the magdelene laundries part quite extensively.
Coercive Confinement in Post-Independence Ireland « Irish Criminology Research Network
"They find that along with the Church and State the family was a fundamental part of the explanation which prior to this publication had been sidelined."
That is an interesting aspect of their approach. Ireland had a culture of intense privacy that was encouraged in those times, and in many families still is today, even when it comes to things like abuse and depression. There is still a very prevalent attitude of discouraging people who need help from seeking it openly, in many instances.
With todays media and the extremely transparent nature of social networking, it is fair to say there is some conflict in this regard, where it is more and more difficult to maintain "privacy" yet simultaneously there is still subtle and sometimes sadly overt pressure not to speak out.
Dark stain of Irish gulag system not yet addressed - The Irish Times - Tue, Sep 25, 2012
"At any given time between 1926 and 1951, there were about 31,000 people in these institutions. That’s 1 per cent of the entire population. If the system were a town, it would now be the fourth largest in Ireland – a shade smaller than Bray"
"One part of the system – the industrial schools – has been acknowledged by the State, with a formal apology, the Ryan report, and a compensation scheme. The children’s rights amendment to the Constitution, though it also has practical significance, is in part a symbolic response to the crimes against children.
But with the other two main parts of the system – the mental hospitals and the Magdalene homes – the State is, in one case, entirely ignoring the problem and in the other engaging in deliberate obfuscation.
By 1966, Ireland was incarcerating a higher proportion of its people in mental hospitals than anywhere else in the world"
"There are elderly women who have not been given the wages and pensions they are lawfully entitled to for years of back-breaking work. How long must they wait before the stain of the laundries is washed clean?"
Granted compensation is a seperate discussion, but when these situations are not properly addressed, in times when the saville, hillsborough, etc stories are the pulse of the media; how problematic is that inherent attitude in that it discourages speaking out about these things rather than encouraging?
"if only we’d known…’ has become something of a collective anthem"
"Certainly this book carries lessons of importance for Irish society and criminology, and it is something of a refreshing antidote, challenging standards and strongly held positions both academically and socially. Criminological theories which espouse an age of punitive peril would be refreshed by shifting the view from imprisonment to the more expansive and historically sensitive vantage point of coercive confinement. O’Sullivan and O’Donnell show that by focusing solely on recent increases in prison populations that the full story of social control and incarceration is obscured from view. Secondly, the book also challenges the comfy narratives of Church and State which are quickly becoming the catch-all explanations for how over 1% of the Irish population came to be detained in the web of institutional confinement. Rather than being held hostage by the Church and the State, the authors convincingly argue that the role of the family and rural economy were fundamental in maintaining the existence of these institutions. We may have become wilfully myopic, but using contemporary rather than reflective writings the authors give us a genuine insight into how prevalent and sweeping the carceral landscape was."