The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Abuse group founder Phyllis Morgan ‘forced’ to retire


Woman, 66, who helped launch a support service for Irish convent victims, is told to leave

Published: July 28, 2011

A SURVIVOR of Irish convent abuse who set up a pioneering group to help victims living in London says she has been pushed out of her job because of her age.

Outreach worker Phyllis Morgan, 66, will leave the London Irish Centre at Camden Square tomorrow (Friday).

She has worked there for more than 10 years, running the London Irish Survivors Outreach Ser­vice and helping thousands of victims who were abused in religious convents as children. Ms Morgan said: “I love my work and I don’t see why I should have to leave because of my age. They are doing this before the law changes.”

New rules banning employers from firing staff because they have reached the retirement age comes into effect in October.

David Barlow, the Irish Centre’s new director, said its board had been in retirement talks with Ms Morgan for two years.

He told the New Journal that her contract had been temporarily extended when she reached 65 but that to comment further would break employment rules.

Mr Barlow stressed that the service was not closing and that board members had been in talks with Irish ministers this week about the continued funding of the project.

He added: “Services for victims of abuse will continue.

“The London Irish Centre takes its commitment to survivors very seriously.”

Ms Morgan was a victim of the physical and mental abuse suffered by tens of thousands of children placed in the care of Catholic religious orders.

At the age of three, she was separated from her mother and placed in the full-time care of nuns.

She told how she would eat pig food because it was better than what was offered to her. “We were treated worse than pigs,” she added.

Ms Morgan said she spent her entire childhood at three convents in the Dublin area, where she claims the nuns abused her.

“Children were placed in these convents for various reasons,” she said.

“They were all over Ireland and many fled to come here to Camden. The are all such a vulnerable group.

“They are not able to hold down jobs because they were so damaged – many were repeatedly raped.

“Many live in dire homes and we get them into better homes. We help them get compensation. We have made a difference to so many lives. It is unbelievable how busy we are.”

The last of the 132 convents of this kind was shut down in 1986. The Irish government issued guidance following an inquiry in 2009 that a state-funded support service should be provided for all victims.

The Camden-based survivors service is funded by Ireland’s Department of Education and costs around £94,000 a year.

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It sounds like Phyllis Morgan is being BULLIED. I bet they have one of their friends lined up for the job. That Job belongs to Phyllis Morgan.
Well its a pity that she feels hurt by this but lets be clear about things. its time to leave and live differently. After all she has good memories of what has been done while she ran things. damaged people need professional help. its not much help to any other survivers except the ones who live near enough to camden town to have reguler contact.i wish her luck in her new life. Thay at least get to meet and talk to others from the instutions. thats more than most of us can say.all i felt in ireland from the other women was very defensive.

They were Abusive more than defensive.

I couldn't disagree more, Pauline.  Phyllis was doing a wonderful job at the centre, especially working with survivors of the Magdalene Laundries, for whom there is little to no support.  Phyllis has in fact been bullied out of her job and it is the centre's great loss.  Geraldine is doubt the "suits" have one of their friends lined up to replace her.  I agree that Ireland doesn't seem to have anyone of Phyllis' warmth and character to help support survivors, but what she did in London was amazing.  I wish there were a way to fight and keep her on...we did manage to send a letter last year in support of her work, which helped buy her another six months.  But alas, this time it looks final. 

Thanks for your personal insight Mari

Phyllis would be welcome Here?

as are all the Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and Children who want a safe place to hang out and discuss issues in the private setting this offers.

Only the Home page is visible to Non Members

That makes it SAFE.


Hello Mari, have you seen who it is that has taken Phyllis's Job.  I was right.

I wish Mrs Morgan a happy and long retirement. She will be better off away from the dog eat dog that is going to go on to get funding from the new statutory fund.

I was advised at the Camden center for the reddress board. This left a bad taste in my mouth, thererfore i would never contact the Camden center again.


I am glad that she helped the magdelaine ladies of course i am but you see the funding and services were supposed to be there for the industriel school survivers. this is a case of good intentions coming first. but what about the ones left out while this is going on. thay are supposed to be able to understand the effects of long term damage to people who as children were brainwashed in these places. since now many feel excluded from these groups the damage is engoing. the ladies who were in laundries need help of course. But so do all of the survivers. our unpaid work is still a issue.well retirment might leave her time to continue helping survivers if thats what she wants to do.that way she can choose.

Paul, Sorry to hear that you where Disappointed with the Camden Centre

This seems to be not Uncommon with Survivors Groups/Services


The New Statutory Fund will Perpetuate this??

Wishing Phyllis a happy retirement.I did ring the Camden Centre on a few occasions but never got any kind of help regarding the information I required maybe I was unlucky.Got the feeling I was an outsider.

I have now formally requested the Education finance board return all documents regarding me and my family.

I had tried to get funding for a course for my grandson, this has taken 3 months so far.

 The recent reply from the board was a request for documents that they have had for some time and it will take another 6 months to process the claim.

As i had already paid for the course and it is already done, i will suffer the cost myself.  

Pen pushers who needs them.


seems to me the only ones who were able to get education from the education fund these past years are the group leaders families  and their close friends and families without any problem,    I couldn't even anyone to talk to me on the phone . were they  supposed to be on the board in hiding



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