#Magdalene: “When the dark midnight is over, watch for the breaking of day”

Enda Kenny may not be the most whip smart of politicians. He was for the longest time a whipping boy for the ward boss Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern…

Most of the comment afterwards was unmanned, literally, by what is a very direct communication with the women themselves… he welcomes them to your parliament, your Dail Eireann

What Enda lacks in intelligence, he more than makes up for in emotional intelligence. It may be something he has to use more than just one more time before this term is out…

Some of the women afterwards spoke of his personal contact with them afterwards, which coincided with the concluding speech of one of his rivals, Mary Lou McDonald… It’s to the credit of Ms McDonald’s own emotional intelligence that she made no play of it.

The story of the Magdalene Laundries brings us face to face once again with all too familiar themes of shame, of stigma, of silence and secrecy.

None of which have gone away, despite what is otherwise a very affecting scene of national reconciliation. As noted by several deputies, the problem here went on for generations, and in the case of Protestant children a problem identified as early as the Cussen Report in 1936, still remains to be addressed.

The question of whether or not Midnight has really passed is dependent on the current crop of Irish politicians being more determined than those of generations past…

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