Home > Commentary, Human Rights in the News > A light at the end of the tunnel for Madgalene Laundries survivors?

A light at the end of the tunnel for Madgalene Laundries survivors?

The Irish Times reports that the government will consider new evidence detailing State involvement in the referral of women to Magdalene laundries in the 1960s before it decides whether to provide redress to former inmates.

The decision yesterday by Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe follows an admission by Department of Justice officials this week that women were transferred following court appearances to a church-run asylum on Sean McDermott Street, Dublin, during the 1960s.

According to a Spokesman for the Minister, “the information now being referred to by the group wasn’t available when the Minister for Education and Science issued his letter on September 4th, 2009,”

Significantly, a Department of Justice spokesman confirmed yesterday they now knew and accepted that a number of women charged with criminal offences were remanded in one Magdalene laundry under arrangements made by the Department of Justice. The spokesman also asserted that a number of women convicted of criminal offences were also given the alternative of going to prison or a Magdalene laundry by the courts.

These revelations are consistent with claims made by Justice for Magdalenes, a group representing survivors, which have previously been discussed on this blog.

Bearing in mind the acknowledgement by the Deparment of Justice that the state did in fact play a role in relation to the referral of women to Magdalene laundries, it seems incumbent on the Minister to revisit his conclusion that former residents are not eligible for compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Board due to the fact that the state was ‘not complicit’ in referring women to the laundries.

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  1. mary creighton
    April 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    i hope my name is on that list because aged 16 years i was sent to castlepollard from 04 oct 1967 till sept 1968. i was kept there being groomed for the launderies no doubt . i worked from 6/30 am till 7/8 at night 7 days a week looking after 16 babies including my own with one other girl called florence. i was named francesca . those evil papists stole my identity and branded me a fallen woman,my crime to get pregnant by the boy i loved. then in feb 1974 i was pregnant again and spent 6 months before my child was born working in high park laundry drumcondra dublin 9. while there i went to the city of dublin and was caught up in the bomb blast and when i returned to the laundry i explained the terrable shock i had in the city . all i was handed was alittle pill and told lie down for an hour then resume work as usual.i was suffering traumat stress and no one in ireland ever explained that to me not even the doctors who i mentioned it to,. i never got paid for the forced labour but i sais i hope they dont forget me when there counting out the compensation i and others like me deserve . its women and girls like me that made the young women of ireland as free as they are today. it wont bring our famolies back or reunite us with our siblings ,but it will make certain it never happens again . a bullet to the head would be a waste on those catholic brutes of so called mercy nuns .also good shepards ,shepards of innocents no such thing as good .

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