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An Chomhairle Ealaíon Playography In English


Mary Raftery

1957 - 2012

Mary Frances Thérèse Raftery was an investigative journalist, filmmaker and writer. Raftery started her investigative journalism career with In Dublin magazine in the 1970s, before moving on to Magill Magazine and then to RTÉ in 1984. While at RTÉ, she produced States of Fear (1999), the documentary series which detailed the abuse suffered by children in reformatory and industrial schools between the 1930s and the 1970s. The subsequent establishment of the Ryan Commission and the Residential Institutions Redress Board came about largely as a result of Mary’s work. When the Ryan Commission Report was eventually published in 2009, it confirmed the findings of the docuseries. Her book, Suffer the Little Children (2002), extended the work of States of Fear, detailing the culture of abuse in the Irish childcare system. Mary also produced Cardinal Secrets (2002) for RTÉ, which examined the handling by the Catholic Church of clerical sex abuse allegations in the Dublin diocese. The programme led to the Government’s decision to establish the Murphy Commission. Mary’s final television documentary, Behind the Walls (2011), examined the history of psychiatry in Ireland.

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