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An apology - and an excuse

Miriam O'Callaghan


Society - reeling from abject poverty and Catholicism - was not to blame for incarcerating women, writes Miriam O'Callaghan

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Sean Ross Abbey Mother and Baby Home, Tipperary

Sean Ross Abbey Mother and Baby Home, Tipperary

Sean Ross Abbey Mother and Baby Home, Tipperary

Who could have imagined? That despite the grip of the Modh Coinníollach on our psyche, it was the Briathar Saor would do for us in the end.

Because what 'happened by itself' to the girls and women incarcerated, terrorised, dehumanised, tortured in labour, their children separated from them, starved, stolen, trafficked, 'happened by itself' all over again, when the State, reported 'what was done to them' instead of 'what it did to them'. It took 2,865 pages to find that society - that helpful amalgam of everybody-and-nobody - was at fault. According to survivors, the finding belongs in 1921 more than 2021.


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