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