100 signatures reached
To: Religious Sister of charity.
Set Angelina Free.
Simply: Give permission to Mary Collins daughter of Angelina renamed Angela in Magdalene laundry permission to remove her mother from the mass grave containing 72 women in a public owned cemetery st Finbarrs cork in a plot owned by the sisters of charity.
Why is this important?
My name is Laura Angela I’m the chairwoman for Justice for all women & children this year I accepted a Irish Traveller pride award in intersectionality in which was presented by the amazing Catherine cordless.
It’s so important as my mother is a survivor of a abusive industrial school. While there she was abused over who she and her mother was and was made to hate her ethnicity and faced very traumatic experiences of abuse.
Her mother Angelina was sent to a laundry for 27 years and was renamed Angela. While there she was recommended a hysterectomy by the doctors. Instead the order used her up until her dying day and ignored the doctors recommendations for over a decade after it was made. My nan died of ovarian cancer if given the treatment she needed she could be here to tell you her story. Instead she lays in a mass grave in cork with 72 other women in which I have been visiting since being a small child.
Angelina had three daughters. Her eldest daughter Margaret was 14 when she was out into Sunday wells Magdalene laundry run by the good shepherds in cork. When she left she left for Liverpool. She returned to cork to find her mother and headed straight to St. Vincent’s the laundry her mum was in. She was told that she should leave and never come back. She returned to liverpool and that coming Christmas committed suicide on a day for family, Christmas Day.
Angelina’s youngest daughter Bridget was adopted. For 5 years my nan was refusing to sign adoption papers for Bridget while in the laundry. It was only when they used my mum Mary who was in the industrial school and said if she signed the papers she would be given visits by Mary who was in the industrial school and was made to fear her mother.
Knowing that not many got the opportunity to even see their children again she took the deal and signed the papers. From there from the age of seven onwards my mum mary was made to visit her mum in the Magdalene laundry but it wasn’t the first time she would have entered those doors.
In the 1960s a commission called the commission of itinerancy was taking place. Traveller children was being taken from their family’s and put into industrial schools. The women & children was taken and forced to work in institutions while the aim was to isolate the men on the camps in attempt to eradicate the whole population. Figures called the “cruelty men”” would attend camps on the side of the road and conduct inspections.
My nan was in Tuam when my nan took to the side of the road with her latter and travelled to Middleton. A cruelty man approached the site and did a inspection. Although in reports all her children was deemed well nourished and cared for, my Nan had been labelled a “itinerant” she lied regarding being married as her children was illegitimate.
But she was put into a county home and was found to be lying. She then escaped the county home with my mum Mary aged two and half. She was brought back by Garda and in the reports she states she was trying to get back to her family in Tuam which mentioned the name Patrick ward within. They didn’t tend to write down the fathers name but because of her attempted escape it gave us some direction as then through DNA and research we found out my mums grandfather (the father to my mum dad) was called a Patrick ward. But from there my mum and her mother was sent to the laundry while they waited for the child’s placement, a nun remembers the night my mum mary was ripped from Angelina in the Magdalene laundry and she was bundled in the car in the car park of it.
My mum has been through the Ryan report, mcayleese report and is now facing the mother and baby home commission.
During the Ryan report they was just looking at the abuse within the industrial schools so although my mothers statement spoke of her being brought up to the laundry and her mother. This was excluded this as they was claiming at the time these institutions was private.
During the mcayleese report they just acknowledged the living working residents and didn’t even provide a minutes silence on the night to the dead my mum sat in the Dàil heartbroken. This meant that child residents/ visitors and their dead mothers was excluded from gaining justice.
After the 2013 apology to just the living working residents. We applied to cork council for the exhumation of my nan. We was sent a response letter in 2014 stating the requirements of we would need to bare all costs and we would also need the sisters of charity permission. We have wrote many letters. Had a solicitor write letters and they have never responded in regards to providing of their permission.
I have written a book in regards to my mother’s and nan story called The Tinker Menace; The diary of an Irish Traveller which gives a detailed account of our journey and which in detail also lays bare the cover up around the institutions and the effects it had on my family.
I am starting this petition to show the order and government how much public support is behind the removal process of my nan and to force them to both take action as they are both responsible. It really means a lot to move my nan and rebury her in a dignified site in which isn’t associated with all the traumatic feelings that arise for my mum when she attends the mass grave.
I personally feel due to the fact their was another Magdalene mass grave at another site in which they opened as they sold the land and found more bodies without death certificates - no Garda investigation was put in place they simply put death certificates in place. I think they fear history repeating itself.
Please sign and share our petition as far as possible together let’s give the freedom my nan always deserved finally back and some form of justice.
Thank you all, for more information regarding the campaign please visit our page: