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Magdalene Laundries in historical & modern context

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Brian Whelan

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Location: Kildare






Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Magdalene Laundries in historical & modern context

Enda Kenny was correct to call a halt on selective hindsight apologies by the Irish state.

A current state and a time period that neither Kenny or we are responsible for.
Even if it can be proven in a court of law that the state is responsible for the distant past, the state itself, in this instance Ireland, can without question equally prove that another state (Westminster) was ultimately responsible for the institutions, and counter claim for damages.

If apologies are to be made therefore, they need to be made in full context of the historical reality and any absolute relating context.

Magdalene Laundries in historical & modern context
It was a different era, in some ways a more stark and uncaring society in comparison to current, in other ways a far safer and more credibly caring society than today's current multi cultural world of little or no credible society.

Hindsight tends to confuse the logic of those who demand quick answers based on simplistic overviews.

Credible historical context of one time period into another time period, any such comparison is extremely complex if not impossible.

Selective Simpletons do not like being reminded of the context of reality.

To borrow a quote from here before.
According to the NSPCC, which obtained the information from chief constables in England and Wales by way of a Freedom of Information request, there were 23,000 incidents of child sexual abuse reported to the police between March 2009 and April 2010.
In the same period about 2,000 people were charged with sexual offences against children and 1,000 convicted.
The Telegraph recently reported that there were 18 complaints of incidents sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in 2010. There were no convictions.
Most abuse, sadly and disturbingly, is committed in the home and not by priests or other religious leaders


The following is human reality that many selective bigots choose to overlook in their idle anger at the movies. Make no mistake, for most of those who shout loudest, this anger is just a current movie for them.


Context, like today in India and other parts of the world where extremes of poverty are allowed to happen, not enough people actually care about the conditions of other people.
We leave it all to the charity workers, the nuns like Mother Theresa.
How easy it is for incredible people to criticize those who actually do the work, how much easier still to pontificate with modern PC bullshit at the charity of the past.
At best we give a few cents once a year to some jamboree pretense.

The following is a historical reality that most Irish are completely ignorant of.
The Magdalen laundries were originally British institutions, that were imposed into Ireland under Westminster approval

The laundries were a specific form of the workhouse
The workhouse was the remedy for the poor, a system devised by the supposed Great Britain and empire.

Like India today, back then in Ireland under British domination, whilst the gentry & supposed royals lived in extremes of wealth, the ordinary people lived in extremes of poverty.
Especially poorly treated in the supposed common wealth of empire were the Irish.
We had our foods exported by a system of organized crime, a mob and its private army made us all pay a cut of any action we had going.
Westminster had such control over minds they still have people refering to such crimes as a natural phenomena, a famine.

British rule was in effect and practice just a grand form of extortion.
Pay up, conform or they punish you.

Easy for some to forget that is what 1916 was all about, Irish people resisting the criminal empire and the mob boss.

Unfortunately the new Ireland, the manipulated and British supervised free state, was not allowed by the mob boss (the Crown), to leave all those stark British institutions behind. Because of impositions by Westminster and the resulting trade wars that left Ireland further impoverished, any modern concept of civil rights were not exactly high up on the agenda at the emerging modern Irish state and their puppet politicians.

Regardless of the ability to reflect historical perspective into some reasoned context! To attempt a rewrite by selectively transposing one generations cultural ideas on civil rights into any other historical generations, is pointless and absurd.

Unfortunately this pointless exercise is a useful tool for the hypocritical to promote their bias via selective historical reflection.

The great modern hobby of the most incredible, is to wail and woe over things that they know they have no direct personal concerns with. To concern themselves with the past or matters remote that distract them from addressing current and local reality.

Are the mass of people who get so temporarily wound up online about all manner of subjects on a daily basis, being rational or credible?
Probably at least as credible as those extremely hypocritical few, who have public access to gain political advantage for themselves on the backs of others sufferings.
Fine Gael in opposition or Sinn Fein or other, does it matter when it is clear that by general default, politicians are incorrigible.

What are the motives behind those who get so temporarily angry about so many distant and remote subjects?
Those who demand recompense and apology for the historical abuses of people that they do not know! Are they really so generally caring about the universal rights of Mothers and children?

Or are these generally idle hot air bluffers, bluff made by people who will think nothing of googling for the cheapest price on their next must have luxury item, goods made so often by unseen little children in Asia.
All those cheap soccer tops many wear as daily clothing, or the mass produced cheap footballs they kick around with their own children, while wearing designer trainers made in Asia by little children and women in slave like conditions.

There is no irony in the reality that future historical experts are going to damn them all as idle hypocrites, who not only stood by & did nothing, but took advantage.

Magdalene Laundries in historical & modern context.

Picking up on a good recent post here.
The British Crown monarchy was built on the human slave trade
Where does compensation for the past stop, should we not have demanded that Westminster and the Crown pay up for its Colonial abuses in Ireland.
Magdalene Laundries in context that Westminster set up the industrial schools systems and systemically abused Irish women and children in the past. Should we not be demanding apology from Cameron more than Kenny?
When historical records prove that Westminster exported Irish men women and children in the hundreds of thousands ( probably millions more unrecorded) to Crown Colonies as slave labor.
Magdalene Laundries in context of their Queen of England, to whom so many were recently shamelessly encouraged by RTE & Dail to imagine so noble for her non apology.

Magdalene Laundries apology in context,
When we the Irish public have only generally only actively sought to take a rare selectively deaf and dumb advantage of child labour
We only wanted to wear the benefits of cheap modern slave labor, but she the English Queen indirectly owned all the factories and her ancestors personally benefited from the Colonial slaves who inspired modern capitalist economic slavery.

When in context the Crown and Westminster had Dublin set up as the largest red light district in all of 19th C Europe.

In context was Ireland the Republic, ever likely to grow up unless it addressed and not ignored the brutality committed against its peoples.

Do we continue, carry on being selective in proscribing what is historically evil and usually with no context and only blaming ourselves like most victims.

Context of the evil of the Magdalene Laundries
These were historically Westminster British institutions not naturally native Irish, the Magdalene Laundries and industrial schools were a brutal answer of a uncaring Colonial state to what they viewed a Irish problem.

The Dublin Magdalen Asylum in lower Leeson Street was the first such institution in Ireland. Founded in 1765 by Lady Arabella Denny, it admitted only Protestant girls.
In 1918 the home became a children's home and adoption society. Following the Leeson Street asylum's closure, the Bethany Home, founded in 1921, provided similar refuge services for Protestant "fallen women".

The first Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809, again under the approval and funding of Westminster.

Magdalene asylums grew out of the Evangelical rescue movement in the United Kingdom during the 19th century, whose formal goal was to rehabilitate prostitutes, the institutions were named for St. Mary Magdalene.
Let us not forget that Prostitution was encouraged, if not a Colonial policy inside Ireland and other colonies by the hypocritical Crown.
Native women and children used and abused by the forces of the Crown of Westminster mafia.

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