The Magdalenes and I

Steven O'Riordan

On a calm, clear Tuesday night in February 2013, a long line of Irish women in their 60s, 70s and 80s stood side by side on the plinth outside Government buildings in Ireland. These women were survivors of the notorious Magdalene Laundries. On behalf of the State and its people, the leader of their country had apologised for all they had endured.

In the midst of that group of women stood a young man in his 20s named Steven O’Riordan. Steven isn’t the son of a Magdalene survivor. He isn’t a human rights activist. He is the ‘accidental’ campaigner who fought to have these women and their stories recognised.

The Magdalenes and I is the extraordinary story of how one young man met with and campaigned for 100s of Magdalene survivors. It reveals in shocking detail the trauma the women suffered with exclusive never heard before interviews given by survivors and their family members. It pieces together the highs and lows of what it was like for Steven and the women he met to expose the truth, fight for justice and triumph against all the odds.

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