"At the conclusion of my discussions with one group of the Magdalene Women one of those present sang 'Whispering Hope'. A line from that song stays in my mind - 'when the dark midnight is over, watch for the breaking of day'.
Let me hope that this day and this debate heralds a new dawn for all those who feared that the dark midnight might never end."
Taoiseach Enda Kenny's State apology to the Magdalene women.
On 19 February 2013 the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologized to the women who had been incarcerated in Ireland's Magdalene laundries. In the audience sat Steven O'Riordan, a documentary filmmaker and founder of the charity Magdalene Survivors Together. And by his side, waiting patiently for the words they'd been fighting to hear, were some of the women he had helped.
For Nancy, Kathleen, Diane, Marie and Marina were confined in Magdalene laundries throughout Ireland during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The harrowing physical and psychological abuse they endured in the institutions, run on behalf of the State, led to a lifetime of shame and secrecy.
Now, in WHISPERING HOPE, these women tell their stories for the first time. Their fight for justice and forged friendships has enabled them to move forward and have their voices heard, their individual accounts weaving together in an immensely powerful narrative that shines a light on a dark chapter in Ireland's history.
Inspirational and moving, this is the story of five women brave enough to confront their past and strong enough to not let it define them.