Further Information About Ireland’s 20th Century Institutional and Gender-based Abuses

Below is a list of places where you can find out more about Ireland’s 20th century institutional and gender-related abuses. We have drawn in particular from the List of Educational Resources compiled by Justice for Magdalenes Research. Please be aware that this is not an exhaustive list and we will continue to add to it as we gather information. We encourage you to do your own additional research.

Research and Advocacy Groups 

  • Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) aims to provide for the advancement of education of the general public by researching the Magdalene Laundries and similar institutions and by providing information and support to the women who spent time in the Magdalene Laundries and their families. The voluntary group is made up of Claire McGettrick, Mari Steed, Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Associate Professor Katherine O’Donnell and Associate Professor James M Smith. The JFMR website provides Guides for survivors and relatives, links to JFMR’s written submissions to human rights bodies, access to the Magdalene Oral History Project, information about the whereabouts of and ongoing efforts to locate the women who died behind convent walls (the Magdalene Names Project), and updates about many more research and advocacy projects.


  • Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) was the predecessor organisation to Justice for Magdalenes Research. In August 2012, JFM made its principal submission, State Involvement in the Magdalene Laundries to the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries (IDC).  The submission, authored by James Smith, Raymond Hill, Maeve O’Rourke, Claire McGettrick and others, consisted of a 145-page document which was supported by 795 pages of survivor testimony and 3,707 pages of archival evidence and legislative documentation. It outlined comprehensive evidence of State complicity in the abuses experienced by girls and women in Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries. The JFM archive is available here.


  • Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) campaigns for equal rights for adopted people and all those subjected to abuse through the institutionalisation and forced separation of unmarried families during the 20th century in Ireland. ARA’s website contains information about how to access information, and invites members of the public to educate themselves and get involved in calling for equal rights to information for adopted people.  ARA’s submissions to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in 2017 are available here.


  • Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data is a collaboration between Adoption Rights Alliance, Justice for Magdalenes Research and Hogan Lovells International LLP.  It is co-directed by Claire McGettrick and Dr Maeve O’Rourke. Its purpose between 2015 and 2018 was to gather evidence and advocate to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters, and elsewhere, regarding the treatment of unmarried girls and women, and their children, who were forcibly separated during the 20th century. The website, containing explanatory short films and the final Clann Report is here.


  • The Association of Mixed Race Irish is a campaign and support group that highlights an overt policy of racial discrimination in the historic care system in Ireland for mothers and babies/children. This organisation’s written submissions to the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2019 are available here.


  • Reclaiming Self was a group that submitted an NGO report to the UN Committee against Torture in 2017. Read the report here.


  • Survivors of Symphysiotomy is a group that made submissions to the UN Committee against Torture in 2017 (available here), to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2017 (available here) and to the UN Human Rights Committee in 2014 (available here and here) and 2015 (available here).


  • Recovery Experts by Experience and Ár Guth Ár Gcearta joined with Survivors of Symphysiotomy, Reclaiming Self, Justice for Magdalenes Research and Adoption Rights Alliance in oral submissions to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in 2017 and made written submissions, available here.


Official Reports

Oral History Projects

Films / Documentaries


Summer event to bring together survivors of Magdalene Laundries by Morning Ireland

Dr. Katherine O’Donnell, from UCD’s School of Philosophy, discusses a call by the ‘Justice for Magdalenes Research’ group to honour key recommendations of the Magdalene Redress Scheme

News Video Segments

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10 ways institutional abuse details are still being kept secret in Ireland. By @maeveorourke @IrishCentreHR @NUIGlaw @NUIGalway https://t.co/ZOCTEAFe1V pic.twitter.com/afs1tC08wn

Academic Books

Creative Literature

Life Writing / Memoir

Art / Visual Culture