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Voices Emerge Press Release - re Kathy O'Beirne

Irish Independent, Saturday June 25th 2005, by David Quinn

A DISPUTE has broken out over the veracity of some of the claims made in a harrowing new book about life in the Magadalene homes.

The book, 'Kathy's Story', is written by Ms Kathy O'Beirne who says she was in a number of Magdalene homes where she was put to work in their laundries. Ms O'Beirne was interviewed on the Vincent Brown radio show on Wednesday night.

However, the four religious orders that ran the now closed homes all say they have no record of Ms O'Beirne having been one of their residents. Ms O'Beirne does not say in her book which homes she was present in, or which religious orders ran them. However, on the radio show, she mentioned High Park in Dublin, which was run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. Ms O'Beirne told The Irish Independent she had "all the records of having been in the institutions" adding she was not at liberty to name the institutions "because I would be sued". Ms O'Beirne also said that two clerics have paid her out-of-court settlements because of sexual abuse she says she suffered from them.

Voices Emerge Press Release

The Voicesemerge charity, comprising of former inmates and carers’ from the Institutions have come forward to demand that the author of a book detailing her allegations of horrific brutality at the hands of some of the Religious Congregations be proven or she issues an apology.

Ms Kathy O’Beirne has featured in our national media stating that as a former inmate of the Magdalene Laundries , she was raped and brutalised .We maintain that the allegations made are ridiculous and unproven.

We deem it imperative in the name of justice and clarity for the Religious congregations that she names the Congregations and Institutions involved.

Religious Congregations cannot sue for defamation; therefore they have no legal recall, and are virtually defenceless against these horror stories.

However, they do have records, and as the various congregations we have spoken to have stated they have no evidence of this lady ever being in one of their institutions, the onus is on her to prove her story.

It’s time the public stopped accepting unproven allegations as fact. It’s an insult to human intelligence, and to any of those who did suffer abuse in some institutions.