Sinn Féin TD, Martin Ferris, spoke in the Dáil tonight in support of his party’s motion in support of the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.
“One of the key issues that needs to be addressed in relation to the Magdalene Laundries is the role of the state. That covers the state’s abdication of responsibility on the one hand, and its role in covering up for the mistreatment and injustice meted out to the victims.
“All aspects of the state’s role have been covered in a comprehensive report prepared for the Justice for Magdalenes Committee.
“Among the disgraceful facts that emerge from that report are that Government Departments and public companies utilised the services of the laundries. Indeed Áras an Uachtarán used one of the laundries. The report documents these transactions from as recently as 1980 and 1981.
“That in effect amounted to the state utilising the services of what were in actuality indentured servants. Indeed some might use even stronger words to describe the status of the women and girls who worked in the laundries.”
Deputy Ferris appealed to the government to vote in favour of the motion and to delay no further in giving the women the justice they deserve.