Redressing a legacy of abuse in Ireland

Smith-redressA new collection of interdisciplinary essays seeks to answer the question of how will Ireland remedy its legacy of institutional abuse. REDRESS: Ireland’s Institutions and Transitional Justice (University of College Dublin Press, 2022) focuses on the structures which perpetuated widespread and systematic abuses in the past and considers how political arrangements continue to exert power over survivors, adopted people and generations of relatives, as well as control the remains and memorialization of the dead. REDRESS explores what it might look like if survivors’ experiences and expertise were allowed to lead the response to a century of gender- and family separation-based abuses resulting from Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, County Homes, industrial and reformatory schools, and a closed and secretive adoption system. REDRESS is edited by Katherine O’Donnell (UCD School of Philosophy), Maeve O’Rourke (Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law, NUI Galway), and James Smith, an associate professor of English and Irish Studies at Boston College. Smith’s other publications include Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries: A Campaign for Justice; Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment; and Children, Childhood and Irish Society: 1500 to the present. Read more about the book in this essay from National Catholic Reporter.

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