Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries have appealed to the Government not to allow another year go by without redress for their suffering.
Justice for Magdalenes group said it was disappointed that 2012 had
come to an end without publication of the final report of a committee
established 18 months ago to examine state involvement with the
Minister of State for Justice Kathleen Lynch told
the Dáil three months ago the report would be made public by the end of
December at the latest.
A Sinn Féin motion calling for an
immediate apology to the Magdalenes was defeated, with government
parties saying it would be premature without the final report. Justice
for Magdalenes spokeswoman Claire McGettrick said that the delay in
meaningful government action was prolonging the survivors’ suffering.
“We’re told there is a process under way into examining who was
responsible which is fine but our argument all along has been that the
apology should have come at the beginning of that process.
“The women deserve that apology. We know there was abuse in the
laundries, there is no question of that. And we know the state was
complicit at least by neglect if nothing else.”
religious orders ran 10 Magdalene laundries around the country between
1922 and 1996, taking in unmarried pregnant women and girls and others
considered wayward, using their free labour to run commercial laundries
and having their babies adopted, often outside of Ireland.
passed through the system and survivors tell of regimes of abuse,
deprivation, incarceration and forced adoptions.
Magdalenes was formed 10 years ago after the Magdalenes were excluded
from the Residential Institutions Redress Board set up to provide
redress for the thousands of children in industrial schools and other
state-licensed residential institutions.
Ms McGettrick said
any further delay in addressing the Magdalenes’ equally pressing claims
was unfair. “It’s cynical if they are made wait any longer. These women
are an elderly group of women, most of them, and they just do not have
The Department of Justice said it expected to receive the final report into the matter very soon.