Truth never fails: Mary Norris tribute to Mary Raftery

Video: Mary Norris speaks at the launch of the Mary Raftery Fund for Investigative Journalism in Dublin on September 26. Mrs Norris recalls her first meeting with Mary Raftery during Raftery's investigation into child abuse at Magdeline laundries and other church-run institutions for the documentary 'Suffer little children '. Norris traveled from Knocknagoshel in Kerry for today's launch.

Successful applicants to the Journlaism Fund will receive financial support to perform investigations into issues of mental health, migrant issues and children's rights. Read more here. Journalist Olivia O'Leary, Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly and Mary Raftery's spouse David Waddell also spoke at the launch.

Below, an excerpt from Mary Raftery's article in the Guardian,  8 June 2011:

"Mary Norris ended up in a Magdalene laundry for disobeying an order. A teenage servant in Kerry, she took a forbidden night off, and was taken away to a convent where the nuns had her examined to see was she still a virgin (which she was). From there she was dispatched to the Magdalene laundry in Cork. Immediately on arrival, the nuns changed her name -- standard practice in all the Magdalene laundries. "When I went in there," recalls Mary, "my dignity, who I was, my name, everything was taken. I was a nonentity, nothing, nobody."

"The only way out was if a family member claimed you, and Mary was lucky. She had an aunt who tracked her down and got her out after two years of hard, unpaid labour."