Thursday 19 January 2017

Bethany women deserve redress

Published 15/09/2010 | 05:00

The media coverage following the publication of Niall Meehan's research on Bethany Home has brought back into focus the failure of the State to add a variety of deserving candidates to its redress system.

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Education Minister Mary Coughlan, speaking in Cork on Friday, described Bethany as "in the main a voluntary place of detention". This, in itself, is a contradiction in terms.

When will we recognise that young, single, pregnant girls never volunteered for any such treatment but rather were forced to enter Bethany, and other institutions, by the prevailing pressures of stigma and mores of the time, usually driven there by their parents because of social shame?

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