Magdalene abuse of the daughters of the poor

Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland


6 February 2013



The general secretary of the CPI, Eugene McCartan, responded to the release of the McAleese Report into the Magdalene laundries by saying: “This report confirms what many people knew already: that the state was jointly involved with the Church in this horrific abuse and exploitation of the daughters mainly of the poor families of this country.
      “The mentality that pervaded the Magdalene institutions is similar to that of those who controlled the industrial schools. The report exposes their total contempt for the poor; and that contempt still dominates the thinking of the political establishment towards working people.
      “The report confirms James Connolly’s prediction that the partitioning of Ireland and the creation of two flawed states would lead to a ‘carnival of reaction’. Hundreds of thousands of our fellow-citizens were driven out of this state, since its very foundation, by a combination of mass unemployment, mass poverty, political persecution, and the stifling grip of a reactionary political establishment in alliance with the Catholic Church.
      “The Free State government and the political establishment for decades used the Catholic Church as a battering-ram against working people and the rural poor, to enforce their submission physically and ideologically and as part of their anti-radical agenda since the founding of this deeply flawed state.
      “The survivors of these savage exploitative institutions must be given the maximum support and compensation from the state. It is is the least that can be done.”

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