Launch of Magdalene Laundries history project

Katherine O' Donnell speaking at Magdalene Laundries history project in Liberty HallLaunch of Magdalene Laundries history project. By Josephine Gallagher | September 29, 2013.

“Katherine O’ Donnell speaking at Magdalene Laundries history project in Liberty Hall-Twitter On 28 September a conference was held in Liberty Hall Dublin to discuss a newly launched research project regarding survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.

The Magdalene Institutions: Recording an Oral and Archival History project contains detailed interviews and testimonies from survivors of the Magdalene laundries. The Project includes interviews from 79 out of 91 survivors and with over 5,000 pages of research material. Funded by the Irish Research Council the project was carried out at UCD Women’s Studies Centre under leading investigator Dr. Katherine O’ Donnell.

The primary aim of the project is to allow for a better understanding of the Magdalene Laundries through the use of interviews, accounts, archival material from survivors, workers, witnesses, relatives, religious orders and anyone connected to the Laundries.

Audio interviews, transcripts and donated papers will all be made available through UCD archives. A catalogue of interviews is also available and the first selection of interviews will be released by the end of October and a second section by the end of December 2013.

The project also includes educational videos organised by the British charity Truetube and other lessons aimed at educating secondary school students on the history of the Laundries and how future generations can learn from this part of Irish history.

Many survivors have praised the project with one interviewee stating that they “felt empowered” by contributing.

“It has helped me to speak out rather than hide.  Giving my story to the project was a great start to the way I am today. This time last year I could not have done the campaign work I am doing now,” said Irene, one survivor of the Magdalene Laundries.

Here are just some of the comments made on Twitter straight from and about the launch of the research project, which lit up Twitter under the hashtag #magdaleneproject.”

The last magdalene laundry in Ireland closed in October 1996! Average age of survivor 68, they need justice NOW

Loss of identity upon entering laundries, possessions taken, hair cut, name changed & no communication with outside world.

Only 45 mins into & it’s clear that Justice Quirke uncovered data frm survivors that McAleese failed to do

Image: Twitter/@EthelBuckley

  Katherine O’Donnell ‏@Ka_ODonnell27 Sep

Getting ready for the #magdaleneproject symposium at Liberty Hall tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/AVqBEWqHNf Expand

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