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BC's Ireland Program Center Hosts 'Redress' Book Launch Panel — The Heights

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Themes of transitional justice and holding governments accountable permeated Tuesday’s book launch. Redress, Irish System and Transitional Justice, Magdalene Laundries, a collection of essays documenting the history of Irish treatment of afflicted women, including in women’s and baby homes.

“The state [of Ireland] We tried to bury this past, but it came back in waves,” said Guy Viner, a Sullivan professor of Irish Studies at Boston University.

BC’s Irish Studies Program and Center for Human Rights and International Justice sponsored the event.

The book draws on first-hand testimonies, press articles, and legal evidence to shed light on abuses in 19th- and 20th-century Irish psychiatric hospitals, reformed schools, and adoption services, particularly those targeting women and children. studies, and other sources of information.

Catherine O’Donnell “brings up the principles of accountability, truth-telling, assurance of non-recurrence of harm, and restorative justice, and how these principles and values ​​inform survivor-led, academic and intellectual inquiry.” I said, let’s think about how we can lead to correction Associate Professor at University College Dublin School of Philosophy.

James Smith, co-editor of the book and Associate Professor of English and Irish Studies at BC, emphasized the importance of the term ‘relief’. It means to modify or set something. He also spoke of the important role of survivors in compiling this account of systemic abuse within Ireland’s highest institutions.

“Women are the foundation for reforming our system through transitional justice,” Smith said. “Survivor participation was central to the book and helped the discussion.”

The idea of ​​’transitional justice’ was a central theme of the book and panel. It explains that it is working towards accountability from the Irish government by educating the public about the abuses that have occurred across Ireland. correctionthe book does this by including survivor voices and other perspectives that were previously suppressed.

“Ultimately, it showed that transitional justice is not just about making amends,” said Beiner. “What it really means is something beyond that. It is also empowerment for those who have been victims. It means something beyond traditional scholarship. It is advocacy. It goes beyond what is called “armchair scholarship” because it is driven by and aimed at policy making. ”

But this activist approach to assessing some of Ireland’s darker history involves questioning the reality of the core principles of democracy the state claims to have, says a co-editor of the book. says Maeve O’Rourke, an assistant professor at the National University. Ireland, Galway, barrister.

“One of the issues that the book addresses is the notion of conditional justice and the general understanding that the rule of law is already in place and that our constitutional and human rights are accessible,” O’Rourke said. “We are suggesting that Ireland is not a settled democracy, and that a democracy is not a complete democracy.” I’m wondering if there’s any chance it’ll take root.”

According to O’Donnell, the book’s vision is to explore the institutional abuses that occur in Ireland and how scholars, survivors, and others can move towards transitional justice, held in BC in November 2018. It was born out of a meeting to see if we could migrate.

“We dreamed of this conference because we wanted to set the agenda for Irish studies in the 21st century, which is big ambition, not medium ambition,” said O’Donnell. “The ambition was to see Irish studies as an island-wide variety.”

Mr. Smith concluded the panel by encouraging this kind of “activist” scholarship to contribute to understanding the injustices of the past.

“We want to convey the importance and best We try to model practices,” Smith said.