Mari Steed and the real-life story of the Magdalene Laundries


Guests: Mari Steed

Just like Philomena Lee, the subject of movie “Philomena”, Mari Steed’s Irish birth mother was sent to live and work in one of the Magdalene Laundries where she forced to give up her 18-month old daughter Mari. Mari was adopted by a suburban Philadelphia couple and when she was an adult she launched a search to find her birth mother Josephine Bassett. The process was long and arduous but the two eventually reunited in 2002 in England where Josi, who died several months ago, was living with her family. Over the years, Mari Steed became a staunch adoption advocate and has been actively involved in getting the Irish government to compensate the surviving Magdalenes. In this hour of Radio Times we welcome Mari Steed to the studio to hear her story, her mother’s story and to learn more about the work of Justice for the Magdalenes, an organization Mari cofounded.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal