Monday, February 11, 2013

Sisters of Mercy offer invitation to Galway Magdalene Laundry women

Women who spent time in the Galway Magdalene Laundry have been invited to meet with The Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, who ran the institution. 

The sisters invitation comes following the McAleese Report into the extent of State involvement with the controversial laundries. 

In a statement issued yesterday, the order said it was “regrettable that the Magdalene Homes had to exist at all”.

Former Magdalene laundryThe Sisters of Mercy, who ran the Dun Laoghaire and Galway laundries welcomed the report, saying they hoped it would lead to “greater understanding and healing”. 

The sisters said the Galway laundry was “already in operation before coming under our care” and that “many of the women who resided in the Galway home remained voluntarily in our care for the remainder of their lives”.

Although the Aleese Report suggests that the records for Galway are incomplete, with many years missing and unrecorded, the sisters said their own records suggest that women “came to the home in many different ways”, staying for “varying periods of time”, including some women who “came and went on several occasions”.

The sisters said they “fully acknowledge and are saddened by the limitations of the care which could be provided in these homes. Their institutional setting was far removed from the response considered appropriate to such needs today”.

The sisters went on to say that they “wish we could have done more and that it could have been different” but that “while times and conditions were harsh and difficult...very supportive, lifelong friendships emerged and were sustained for several decades”.

The statement from the order concluded by saying: “We would like to extend an invitation to anyone who may have spent some time in either Dun Laoghaire or Galway to come and meet with us, if they so wish.”

No comments: