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    State Legal Responses to Historical Institutional Abuse: Shame, Sovereignty, and Epistemic Injustice

    Ring, Sinéad and Enright, Máiréad (2020) State Legal Responses to Historical Institutional Abuse: Shame, Sovereignty, and Epistemic Injustice. Eire Ireland - a Journal of Irish Studies, 55 (1 & 2). pp. 68-100. ISSN 0013-2683 (In Press)

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    The history of the Irish State is littered with shamed bodies. For decades the State collaborated with religious orders in incarcerating children and single women, shamed by their poverty, race, disability, or association with sexual transgression (Fischer Gender, Nation; O’Sullivan and O’Donnell; Smith; Buckley). Shaming practices such as head shaving, using numbers to identify children, or flogging were used to punish and control (Arnold; Coleman 121; Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse [CICA] vol. 1, ch. 8). Women and children in industrial or reformatory schools, psychiatric hospitals, County Homes, and Magdalene Laundries were burdened with a stigmatized identity that meant total exclusion from society (O’Donnell and O’Sullivan 257). As they have begun to speak publicly about their experiences, victim-survivors have forced the State and Irish society to acknowledge this history. Their testimony to experiences of neglect, beatings, forced labor, sexual assault, and imprisonment are an indictment of the sovereign State’s claim to protect 2 its most vulnerable and to detect and punish crime within its territory. In response, the State offers an architecture of apology, investigation, and redress. Scholars have traced patterns of violation of domestic and international norms at the core of this framework (Gallen and Gleeson; O’Rourke, “The Justice for Magdalenes Campaign”; Ring, “The Victim of Historical Abuse”).

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Child sexual-abuse; containment; laundries; politics; truth;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Law
    Item ID: 15305
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Sinead Ring
    Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 10:19
    Journal or Publication Title: Eire Ireland - a Journal of Irish Studies
    Publisher: The Irish American Cultural Institute
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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