New podcast series to raise awareness of abuses in Ireland’s institutions

New podcast series to raise awareness of abuses in Ireland's institutions

A new podcast series launched by students from the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway aims to promote awareness of human rights violations perpetrated against women and children in Ireland’s institutions in the 20th century.

The five-episode series titled “My Country is My Prison” has been developed by Master of Laws (LLM) students Emily Williams, Fernanda Souza, Holly Hayes, James Spillane, Maria Tapias Serrano and Shauna Joyce.

It is a continuation of the memoralisation project students completed with Mary Harney for the Human Rights Clinic since 2019 to ensure that the history of these institutions is not forgotten.

The podcast joins the Open Heart City website which compiles relevant information and analysis, and a lesson plan for teachers.

The goal of the podcast is to provide a comprehensive overview of the institutions, the human rights violations (including how they continue today) and how transitional justice can be used for Ireland to respond to these egregious and systematic human rights violations.

  • Episode 1 discusses the history of Ireland’s institutions and how the repercussions of their human rights violations influence politics and public policy today.
  • Episode 2 examines illegal adoptions in Ireland, the right to identity and how the effects of Ireland’s illegal adoptions remain present today with a discussion of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill.
  • Episode 3 focuses on how children were confined in the system of industrial schools.
  • Episode 4 explores the institutions that targeted women: Magdalene laundries and mother and baby institutions.
  • Episode 5 reviews Ireland’s obligations to provide remedies and the steps that must be taken now to prevent the institutional abuses from re-occurring.

All five episodes, along with two bonus episodes that feature the full length interviews conducted with survivor Elizabeth Coppin and Dr Conor O’Mahony, the special rapporteur on child protection, are now available on Spotify.

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