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Sinn Féin tables private members’ motion on Magdalene Laundries

25 September, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin is using its private members time in the Dáil this week to move a motion on the abuses that took place in the Magdalene Laundries. The motion seeks the Dáil’s commitment to put in place urgent supports for the aging Magdalene survivors and an open and meaningful debate on the issue of an apology, redress and restorative justice once the inter-Departmental Committee completes its report later this year

Speaking during this evenings debate Deputy McDonald said:

“Sinn Féin has brought forward this motion in recognition of the huge injustice done to the women and girls of the Magdalene Laundries and of the hurt and hardship caused by their exclusion from the Residential Institutional Redress Scheme.

“To date these women have not received the recognition or redress that they deserve. The State has pondered an apology but has yet to deliver it. The women are now predominantly elderly and many are suffering from ill health as a direct result of their brutally harsh incarceration.

“The facts of the brutality experienced by the women and girls confined in the laundries have been established. The complicity of the state has been established. Yet the government hides behind the inter-Departmental committee – its last fig leaf, it last excuse to stand still.

“Government do this in the full knowledge that time is not on the side of the aging Magdalene women. Labour and Fine Gael have offered no apology, and refuse even the comfort of the women’s pension entitlements. The pension entitlements of incarcerated slaves.

“The motion seeks the Dail’s commitment to provide immediate funding for and the implementation of a helpline for the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries; to enable the women access their pension entitlements reflecting their years of work in the laundries and an open and meaningful debate on the issue of an apology, redress and restorative justice once the inter-Departmental Committee makes its report later this year.

“It is our hope, and indeed the omen’s hope, that we can get the support of the government parties when the motion is voted on in the Dáil on Wednesday evening.” ENDS

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