Survivors of Catholic-run workhouses in Ireland are awaiting an apology from state and church over their forced detention in the institutions.
report being published on Tuesday is expected to formally reveal the
extent of the Irish Government's knowledge, involvement and
responsibility for what went on in Magdalene laundries.
chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, who has since resigned from
politics, spent 18 months establishing the role it played in the
operation of the institutions between 1922 and 1996.
Over the 74
years, thousands of single mothers and other women were put to work in
detention, mostly in industrial for-profit laundries run by nuns from
four religious congregations. Each woman had her Christian name changed,
her surname unused and most have since died.
Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) has fought a 10-year campaign for an
official apology from the Irish state and Catholic Church, and a
distinct compensation scheme for all Magdalene survivors.
Smith, associate professor at Boston College and member of the JFM
advisory board, said: "I hope the Government listen. The women can no
longer be held hostage to a political system. Time is of the essence, it
is the one commodity many of these woman can ill afford."
have called for a transparent and non-adversarial compensation process
for all to be set up, with pensions, lost wages, health and housing
services and redress all accounted for.
Mr Smith added: "Magdalene
survivors have waited too long for justice and this should not be now
burdened with either a complicated legal process or a closed-door policy
Religious orders the Sisters of Our Lady of
Charity ran laundries at Drumcondra and Sean MacDermott Street in
Dublin, the Sisters of Mercy in Galway and Dun Laoghaire, the Religious
Sisters of Charity in Donnybrook, Dublin, and Cork, and the Sisters of
the Good Shepherd in Limerick, Cork, Waterford and New Ross.
laundry - Sean MacDermott Street in Dublin's north inner city - closed
JFM is aware of at least 988 women buried in laundry
plots in cemeteries across Ireland and therefore must have stayed for
Mass graves have been identified in Mount St Lawrence Cemetery in
Limerick, Glasnevin in Dublin, Sunday's Well in Cork and at sites in
While the report will set out state responsibility, the
names and personal information of Magdalene residents and survivors will
not be published.
Sensitive data seen by the inquiry team will be
destroyed or original copies sent back to congregations.
inquiry into the Magdalene scandal was finally prompted by a report from
the United Nations Committee Against Torture in June 2011.
for prosecutions where necessary and compensation to surviving women.