Sep 20, 2009

Batt O'Keeffe proves his cruelty

You know if Batt O'Keeffe, Minister for Education, thinks that hard manual labour without pay or chance to leave is employment, I suggest he be encouraged to consider his position. From the Irish Times

He referred to the women as “former employees of the Magdalen laundries”.

Just when I think that this government cannot fall any lower, the Minister comes out and trivialises the suffering and exclusion of women in the Magdalen laundries. The Minister has no compassion or understanding of the responsibility of the government.

Minister O'Keeffe adds

the Magdalen laundries were privately-owned and operated establishments which did not come within the responsibility of the State. The State did not refer individuals to the Magdalen laundries nor was it complicit in referring individuals to them.

Right, so if a child was kidnapped, the gardaí won't attempt to rescue that child because ze is held in a private building. That makes sense.

Does not the State have a responsibility to protect the freedom of its citizens?
Does not the State have a responsibility to treat its citizens equally?
Does not the State have a responsibility to the women and girls, who had committed no crime, who were illegally imprisoned for years?
Does not the State have a responsibility to assure that pay and working conditions are equitable?

The State failed in its duty. An acknowledgment of this failure might have begun to heal wounds but instead they issue denials and disavow any responsibility. This is exactly what happened to the children in the industrial schools when they tried to bring their abuse and torture to government notice.

The Minister should consider his position.

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