Stand in Solidarity with Magdalene Survivors - Candle Lit Vigil



Candlelit Vigil


As the debate regarding the State's involvement in the running of the Magdalene Laundries commences in the Dail tomorrow,  the National  Womens Council of Ireland and Justice For Magdelenes are holding a candlelight vigil tomorrow at 5 pm Outside the Dail. The vigil will be preceding the Dail Debate.

Those who plan to attend are kindly requested not to bring any organisational banners to the event.  Information on the vigil can be found below:


19 February 2013

Please join us and stand in Solidarity with Magdalene Survivors and their Families

What: Candle Lit Vigil with singer Mary Coughlan preceding the Dáil Debate on the McAleese Report

Where: Outside the Dáil

When: Tuesday, 19th February, 5 pm

Organised by Justice for Magdalenes and The National Women's Council of Ireland

As this is a vigil we would welcome people to bring along candles but not organisational banners.


Outside the Dáil

Chairperson of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board (important Information - Please Read))

Minister Quinn nominates Chairperson of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board


The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi­ Quinn T.D., has nominated Sylda Langford to become Chairperson of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board.  In accordance with Government procedures, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection will meet with Ms Langford next week to discuss the approach she will take as Chairperson and her views about the future contribution of the new organisation. Following that discussion, a final decision will be taken by the Minister in relation to the confirmation of Ms Langford as Chairperson.


Minister Quinn also intends to establish the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board and to announce the membership of the full Board as soon as possible.


The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board is a new body which will be established shortly under the provisions of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012. The Board will oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million pledged by the 18 religious congregations to support the needs of some 15,000 survivors of residential institutional child abuse.


This support will involve the provision of a range of approved services, including health and personal social services, education and housing services. To date €40m in cash contributions has been received and a further €27m is expected on the establishment of the Fund. The 15,000 survivors are those who have received awards from the Residential Institutions Redress Board or equivalent court awards. On the establishment of the new Board the existing Education Finance Board will be dissolved and its functions in relation to its remaining funds will be performed by the new Board.


The new Board will consist of the Chairperson and eight members, four of whom must be former residents of the 139 scheduled institutions to the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002.


Additional Information Regarding Sylda Langford

Sylda Langford is the former Director General of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in the previous Department of Health and Children. Previously she was an Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Justice and Law Reform for nine years. She has had extensive experience in policy and legislative work across a broad range of government areas. She is Chair of the Citizen's Information Board and has a professional background in social policy and social work.


What this means for Survivors?


The Structure of the Board is proposed to be; The Chairperson supported by 4 Survivors of Institutional Abuse and 4 Professionals. It is then a necessity on the Board, along with the Chairperson to establish and lay down the criteria as to how Survivors apply for the Fund and what the exact nature of the supports that will be given from the Fund.


This essentially means that once Sylda is ratified and confirmed as chairperson it is proposed that the Board will then be announced (From Applications already received). Once this is done and a criteria set down, we will be reviewing this and holding Regional meetings to inform Survivors, producing a Newsletter to advise of the information and also publish a short document that will be sent to all members with these details. As soon as we get additional information we will forward it onto you our members and to the clients who contact our office.


Official Right of Place/SC Press Release on Magdalen Laundry Report

Official Press Release –

Right of Place Second Chance Response to Magdalene Laundry Report (as reported on RTÉ)


Right of Place Second Chance, an organisation that supports Survivors of Industrial School Abuse wish to express our disappointment at the Report published today. We stand firmly behind clients of ours who spent time in Magdalene Laundries and support the demands for a full apology and compensation for the Magdalene Survivors.


We believe the Report did not go far enough and the comparison between those who suffered in Industrial Schools was unfair to both Groups. This is a fundamental flaw as comparisons between personal suffering experienced by both groups is disrespectful to Magdalene Survivors and Re-traumatising to Survivors of Institutional Abuse.


This reflects poorly on the understanding of an on-going need for support for the most vulnerable Survivors in society.


We also wish to highlight the near 25% of Magdalene Women who were “Institutionalised” prior to their incarceration in Laundries, The state must remember their long term responsibility to both Magdalene Survivors and Survivors of Industrial Institutional Abuse.


We call on the Government to implement a programme that will support Survivors in Health, Welfare and Care for the remainder of their lives.


Michael Walsh,

National Chairperson,

Right of Place Second Chance



We want to remind Survivors of Institutional abuse that we are cognisant of the possibility this report has to re-ignite feelings within our clients and those who access our services. We want to ensure you that our offices and usual supports will be available tomorrow by calling or dropping into any of your local offices for support and information.


All at Right of Place Second Chance want to recognise the dedicated work of those who spoke and represented Survivors of Magdalen Laundries, many of whom we have met over the last 18 months and to encourage their ongoing work for long term supports for Survivors.

Supplementary to this, as advised we will be developing our strategy to present to the Government for long term supports to Survivors of Institutional Abuse and want to advise that at all steps in the process Survivor information, advise and encouragement will be included and requested.


It is important at this difficult time, should you need any support to contact us and our details for our regional offices are located by clicking here. (opens in a new window)

Report to establish the facts of state involvement with the Magdalen Laundries



To view the full Report completed by the inter-departmental Committee please click here. (Opens in a New Window)


We want to re-iterate again should you need any support information or advise please feel free to call any of our offices. Our details can be found by clicking here.


Below is the Introduction from Senator McAleese, the independent chair of the Committee.


Introduction by the Independent Chair

Senator Martin McAleese

1. There is no single or simple story of the Magdalen Laundries.


2. This Report has established that approximately 10,000 women are known to

have entered a Magdalen Laundry from the foundation of the State in 1922

until the closure of the last Laundry in 1996.  Of the cases in which routes of

entry are known, 26.5% were referrals made or facilitated by the State.


LIVE: Magdelene Laundries Report

The report of the committee investigating State involvement with the Magdalene Laundries between 1922 and 1996 will be published this afternoon

Dr Martin McAleese chaired the committee

Enda Kenny has called for a debate in the Dáil on the issue in two weeks, to give people time to read the 1,000-page report

The probe is a partial response to the UN Committee Against Torture's call for a prompt, independent, statutory investigation into allegations by former residents of Magdalene Laundries

Residents say gardaí knew the nuns running the laundries were holding them involuntarily
*Taken from RTE Website


For Live updates and to see a live video Feed please feel free to view the below link:

Additionally to this for any Survivor affected by the Report or information contained within it, please feel free to click here for relevant contact us information.

More information will follow.

Great News - office Opening Hours

Great News


As was advised earlier this year, the necessity on us as an organisation to break even by the end of the year meant that Right of Place took the decision to reduce staffing hours in the final quarter of 2012.

This was a difficult, but necessary decision and not only affected our staff, but more importantly those who access our services. This was crucial to us continuing into the longer term with a better platform in which to build on our existing supports.

However due to the tireless work (hundreds of Voluntary hours) by our staff and the many Survivors who offered their expertise, support and encouragement this reduction of hours has been addressed and we now face into 2013 with a brighter, more stable future in our continued quest to provide the best supports to Survivors of institutional Child Abuse and their families.

it is important for us to also note the continued support and expertise that the HSE, St. Stephens Green Trust and the Department of Education offers us and we are grateful for this. To our staff who worked under immeasurable stress, with limited hours and most importantly the Survivors who helped us and believed in what we are doing and trying to create. It is amazing the support that comes about when you most need it. Whether that has come in the form of monetary assistance, or offering your time and expertise it is important to us that our clients are involved at all levels of the organisation.

So as of from 7th of January the New Office opening Hours are as follows:


Head Office - Cork/Kerry Area Regional Office

Monday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Tuesday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Wednesday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Thuesday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Friday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM


Waterford/Eastern Area Regional Office

Monday -    CLOSED

Tuesday -    By Appointment Only

Wednesday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Thuesday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Friday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM


Galway/Western Area Regional Office

Monday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Tuesday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Wednesday -    10.00 AM - 4.00 PM

Thuesday -   By Appointment Only

Friday -    CLOSED


Additional Offices


We are acutely aware of the calls to open additional offices and hire additional staff. We are constantly evaluating/applying and seeking assistance in support from individuals, groups and companies to assist us in these endeavours. With the budget we have at present (bearing in mind it is over 50% less then 24 months ago) we have managed to open more offices and have more frontline staff then ever before. We are aware of the success of our endeavours and the understanding and research that the types of support we offer are best administered in the local community's Survivors access them from so we are doing everything in our power to open additional offices.

Should you have any questions on this, or can offer support please feel free to get in touch by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or writing to any of your local offices, by getting their address by clicking here.


Upgrading the offices


We are also aware of what Survivors are requesting, relative to the existing offices such as a drop in centre etc and we want to assure you we are looking at the possibility of developing these. We want you to know that your concerns and ideas will always be listened to and currently an internal informal feasability study will be carried out at each of our centres to see if they can be implemented. Any developments on this and all Survivors will be kept informed through our website, Local media outlets and to our members through our Newsletters.


Finally it gives us all great pleasure to hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and you have a prosperous New Year.

Thank you for your continued understanding, support, encouragement and assistance in 2012.

It is only again to remind you should you ever need assistance, information or would like to offer your help please do not hesitate to contact us.

Magdalene Laundries Report due to be published within the next four weeks



Justice Minister Alan Shatter has this evening advised that he will shortly receive what he describes as a "substantial review" and findings from the inter-departmental review group into the slave like conditions in Magdalene Laundries.

In a report that has been many years coming, all at Right of Place Second Chance hope that this can be the beginning of a recognition into the suffering of Magdalene Survivors, many of whom are elderly and vulnerable.

It is envisaged that this report will be published within the next four weeks and once it is, it will be available on our website with explanatory information attached.

For any Survivor wishing to find out more information in relation to this, please feel free to contact any of your local offices for further information.

Additionally to this, please see the below link for further information.


Please click here to view additional reporting/information (opens in a new window)

Happy Christmas

Special Note:

The whole organisation of Right of Place Second Chance would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

It is because of your support, generosity and kindness of Spirit that the lives of thousands of Survivors and their families have been advanced in 2012.

Please don't forget the many Survivors who may be spending Christmas alone this Year. A simple phone call at this special time of year can make all the difference!

Happy Christmas to our members, Survivors,their families and our many supporters.

Keep an eye closer to New Years for a review of 2012 and to see the exciting plans for 2013, in our constant journey of evolving the organisation and fighting for Survivors and their families Rights.

Christmas Opening Hours and Availability

Notice of Opening Hours over the Festive Period


All Our Regional offices and our Headquarters in Cork will be closed from the following dates:


24th of December 2012 - 3rd of January.


All our offices will reopen on the 4th of January from 9.30 am.


In an emergency situation and you need urgent assistance:

It is important to note however, should you need immediate assistance over this period please feel free to e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Should you wish to contact your local Regional office that is non urgent please feel free to call and leave a message on our confidential voicemail Service. Upon the Return of our Outreach Officer they will call you back as soon as possible.


Finally should you require Counselling Services over the festive Period please be aware of the following:


Connect will be operating a free, continuous telephone counselling service throughout the Christmas and New Year period as follows:

Christmas service:  Wednesday 19 December 2012 to Sunday 6th January 2013 every evening from 6.00pm till 10.00pm

To contact Connect call freephone from:
U.K. & NORTHERN IRELAND: 00 800 477 477 77
IRELAND: 1 800 477 477

Notice of postponement of AGM


Dear Member,


Our AGM has been postponed due to some legal difficulties we were made aware of when we had our legal team examine a number of procedures.

So in order to be fair to everyone and on legal advice we decided to postpone our AGM until March.  We will be in a position to inform and ensure that all procedure is correct by that date. The Board would like to assure all those who have put their names forward to be elected that once the legal anomalies have been addressed , all eligible nominations will be held open and put before the newly convened AGM. We will be in touch with all nominees, before the AGM.

If this has caused you, any inconvenience then on behalf of the Board our sincere apologies.  We will be getting in touch with you in February 2013 with the proper procedure leading up to our AGM.

Our AGM is being held in Galway this term, as it was held in Waterford last year. Next year we intend to hold our AGM in Limerick and the year after that in Cork.  We recognise that all our members deserve a chance to attend our AGM at some stage in their areas.  It is fair!

This just leaves me to wish all our members/and those who accessed our services this year a happy healthy and prosperous Christmas.  From the Board, and all our staff, thank you for your support and good wishes in difficult times.



Michael Walsh


Right of Place Second Chance


  • Why was the letter addressed to Members only

The only people eligable to attend an AGM meeting of the Organisation are members. As such letters were only forwarded and sent to those who are on our database at present and those who, over the last year, have filled out a membership application form and had their membership confirmed.


  • Why is the AGM being Held in Galway?

As our organisation has grown over the last two years and more and more people contact us requesting assistance/help we are intent on ensuring every member has access to an AGM in their Region. Previously all AGM's were held in one city and this was to the detriment of those who lived outside that area. As a result We had our AGM in Waterford Last year and we will have our AGM in Galway this year. It is our intention to continue to move the AGM around to the regions we support so as to make it available to members within that region.


  • I am not a member can I attend the AGM?

If you are not a member of Right of Place Second Chance you cannot attend our AGM. This is normal practice. That being said we have a number of meetings scheduled for next year to inform, to update and to make available our resources and these meetings will be open to ALL Survivors whether they are members of Right of Place or not, but an AGM meeting is specifically for members.


  • So I am not a member, can I access your services?

The answer to this question is crucial and one that has been answered numerous times. You do NOT have to be a member of Right of Place Second Chance to access our range of services. There is no pressure on you to ever become a member of Right of Place Second Chance and you will never be asked to become a member, unless you wish to vote at AGM's or receive our Quarterly Newsletter.

Membership is not a neccessity but a choice! So if you have no interest in becoming a member (as is your choice) then that does not exclude you from receiving help and assistance, so please call us for non judgemental, confidential and trustworthy information, advise and assistance, regardless of your membership status!


  • So what are the benefits of Being a member?

The ONLY benefits of being a member of Right of Place Second Chance are you can attend and Vote at AGM's and you receive a quarterly Newsletter from us. These are the only benefits.


  • How do I check if I am a member

We have many lines of communication within Right of Place Second Chance, Phone, Website, e-mail, letter, Offices and all of these can be used to verify if you are or are not a member. Personally the fastest and most efficient way is to call one of our Regional offices (details of their contact number can be found by clicking here) and the Outreach Manager will verify this and call you back.


  • I have a complaint/Suggestion to make to Right of Place Second Chance

Listed below is a copy of our complaints/suggestions procedure. We are aware there is many improvements we can make as an organisation and many ways we have of developing. As such we value any comments/suggestions to improve Right of Place Second Chance and each letter is taken with the utmost of respect and confidentiality. We want to ensure you are aware of the processes that exist. So please feel free to use these avenues now and into the future, as some of our clients already have.


Complaints Procedure

Important Website (Please take a look) "Irish Survivors in Britain"


Irish Survivors in Britain

Irish Survivors in Britain

In what has become an important time in the Journey of Survivors the ability for those supporting them, to co-operate, to share best practice and to create links for the betterment of Survivors lives has to come.


With the introduction of the below website, which links up the different Survivor services in Britain to great effect, this process has begun. Survivor support services for the first time have been categorised and listed in one common area and the Federation of Irish Societies deserve tremendous praise for the work they have done in relation to this.


This information is important for you, for any friends/family members you may have living in the UK and crucial to the ongoing development of a unified support services, with one goal in mind - to provide the best Supports to Survivors and their families.

Please take time out to have a look at the website - indeed should you have any ideas/comments or would like to see something added reply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will ensure they are passed on.


Helen White, Project Co-Ordinator of the Project had this to say, which best describes the website:

"This website is for Survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland, who are now living in Britain. It is part of a wider project supporting a network of survivor groups and services, supporting people wishing to form survivors support groups, publicising events, providing information useful for isolated survivors or their families not already linked in, and raising awareness more generally. The site is administered by the Federation of Irish Societies. Linking, supporting, connecting survivors."



Please Click on the Below image to load website.

Alternatively click here to view website.


Irish SUrvivors in Britain


*Please also note the permanent home for information relating to this website will remain in our Resources Section (Useful Links)

Row demeaning to those who suffered abuse in institutions (Irish Examiner)


Recently Published Article in the Irish Examiner regarding The ongoing provision and confusion regarding the "50/50" deal between Religious and Government:


Please Click below to view;

To View Please click here


Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health

Mental Health and Suicide


This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week. So what is it and what can you do?


Mental Health is defined, as per the World Health Organisation as; "a state of well being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community".

So, by that definition it is safe to presume we can all suffer a little from Mental Health and it is one of the most common of all health conditions. For most individuals 'depression' is a factor we all face at some time in our lives, through many factors and many reasons. Many of us have the capabilities of overcoming these, for many reasons, whilst some do not.

What about those who do not have the capabilites of overcoming a feeling we all experience? Many feel there is a stigma attached to feeling "depressed" or feeling "low" and often people have nobody to talk to, to listen to them or to share their problems with. They continue to suffer in silence constantly caught in a struggle with their emotions. Indeed many individuals may seem to be able to take things in their stride and manage the situation, but underneath they are being torn by anger, pain, hurt and lonelieness.

So how does this effect Survivors of Institutional Child Abuse?

It is commonly known and understood that experiences of Childhood Abuse, doubles your risk of suicide, and whilst there is no research, as of yet, into Institutional Childhood Abuse, I am sure that figure is even greater. Anecdotally through our front-line support we have spoke to many Survivors who can recall, friends and family who have committed suicide struggling to cope in their everyday lives and/or struggling to cope with the pain of the past.

So what can we (as an organisation) and you as individuals do?

When you look at the figures, it is commonly accepted that over 70% of cases of suicide are borne about after the individual has told somebody of their plans, or give some other type of warning signs. If we familiarise ourselves with the common warning signs, perhaps we have an opportunity to prevent it. Here's a list:

  • Observable serious depression
  • Increased or risky alcohol or drug intake
  • Recent impulsiveness or risk taking
  • Expressed direct threats of suicide
  • Expressed indirect threats of suicide
  • Making a suicide plan
  • Unexpected or uncharateristic rage or anger
  • Experienced Significant Loss in their Personal Life

* Taken From Console Information (Charity To Support those at "living with Suicide")

Important Notice (Please Read) - Reduced Staffing Hours

Important information Please Read Fully

Right of Place Second Chance, since establishing ourselves from the previous Board of Directors have undertaken some seismic changes within the organsisation. Many of these changes have been completed and some are still being developed.

Our aim has always been to offer practical every day support to Survivors of Institutional Abuse and their families. When the new Board of Directors were democratically elected to Right of Place and changed direction, we were aware how monumental the task we were going to undertake was. Despite this knowledge all of us became involved and passionate about what we were (and will continue to) do for Survivors because we only need look at Survivors history to know they were never treated fairly and justly. We wanted and want to change this.

We looked at the History of Right of Place and how despite it's best efforts, times had changed and Right of Place failed to change with them. The supports that were offered by our organisation, did not match the actual needs of Survivors and this left many angry and disillusioned with the services on offer. Many Survivors voiced their concerns and many were listened to. We needed to offer more services, to more people and allow access to supports across the country. It is safe to say, from the (record) numbers that contact us, we largely achieved this.

We achieved this, despite a cut of over 45% in our budget within a 24 month period.

So how did we achieve this, what did we change / enhance within the organisation?

  • Established a website to inform and keep appraised of the work undertaken,
  • Created correct structures for Accountability, Transparency
  • Signed up (Voluntarily) to be evaluated yearly and ensure we are following best codes of Practice
  • Published a Newsletter once a quarter to any person who wished to see what was happening,
  • We publish our Annual Accounts,
  • We created an Annual Report, that has never been done by any Survivor support Group,
  • We opened additional offices in Waterford, Limerick and Galway (where there was already a need),
  • We hired Three Outreach Officers to meet Survivors and assist them to enhance their lives,
  • We created links with existing Support agencies, to make them aware of Survivors needs,
  • We have spoke in Local, National and International Media outlets to heighten awarness,
  • We have had over 5,300 contacts from Survivors looking for support and information,
  • We have visited over 1,000 Survivors in their homes to assist them in practical, every day needs,
  • We have offered Social EventsDrop - in service,Art Exhibitions which allowed Survivors a platform to display their hidden talents,
  • Continued to assist Dependents, ensuring they are never forgotten in future supports,
  • Offered and assisted in repatriation of Survivors back to the country of their birth,

The above are just to name a few.

The main difficulty we have, is that depsite the obvious understanding that we are working well within our budget, the legacy issues we were forced to deal with from the Previous Board of Directors has eaten into our existing budget.



It is with this in mind and to ensure that we as an organsiation survive into the future the difficult decision has been take to reduce the hours off all staff within Right of Place Second Chance. This decision has not been taken lightly as we are already aware that demand far outweighs what we had available so we are forced to again ask for your patience and understanding that for the foreseeable future there may be a delay in responding to your enquiry.

The following hours as and from the 1st of September exist:

    1. ALL OFFICES will have the following hours;


Monday:ClosedTuesday:9.30am - 4.30pmWednesday:9.30am - 4.30pm Thursday9.30am - 4.30pm Friday:Closed


This will be reviewed on a month by month basis. The necceisty on us to fundraise over the coming months is crucial as if we do not, the organisation may not remain open into next year.

So if you want to help fundraise, can offer any ideas or would like to donate please feel free to contact (Micheál Walsh) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - our temporary staff member responsible for fundraising.


The Survivoral of the organisation is much more important to all staff as we see and understand the work that goes on, the potential for growth and the ultimate impact we have and could have to Survivors and their families so we will do everything in our power to overcome these difficulties that are a result of one off costs associated with Legacy issues.


All staff would like to thank all Survivors and Supporters for their continued support during these difficult times.


Any Further changes, you will be kept fully appraised.



A Wonderful Song and tribute by a Survivor - (Please Read)

A tribute to JJ from his friend Jaygo

Are Those responsible for the devestation of lives living up to their responsibility?

We recently spoke with the Composer and Singer/ Songwriter of the below video. His story, and that of which the song is dedicated, shows a very real explanation of why Survivors need to be supported.

Let me tell you what Jaygo Purcell said regarding JJ, his story and then listen to the wonderful video tribute he has done to promote and highlight JJ's Story:

JJ was just a boy when they took him away. Took him from all that he knew and all that he loved and sent him to one of Ireland's Industrial Schools.

Whilst JJ was in one of these industrial schools, he was raped. Raped by somebody who was meant to care for him, who was meant to help him. A child, taken away from all he knew, beaten and raped.

When JJ left this institution he couldnt cope with the scars that were left on him. Little support, few who understood him and a life of never being able to speak out. JJ turned to the only thing that he could - he used drink and drugs as a coping mechanism.

JJ used this coping mechanism, tried to live with the scars, but eventually passed away. JJ died, a one bedroom flat, no family and lonely from Social Isolation.

How different could JJ's life have been were it not for our state and the abject failure to protect JJ and thousands like him.

Jaygo Purcell a wonderful Singer/Songwriter produced the following to honour the memory of JJ and promote his harrowing story. Please take a look, have a listen and share with others.

Thanks Jaygo for helping to create awareness. Survivors MUST NOT be allowed to be forgotten! Their priority in supports must begin and begin NOW. How many more JJ's are out there?

This is Shadows by Jaygo Purcell

The above video is the sole and exclusive property of Jaygo Purcell and we thank him for giving us permission to use it.