Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis calls on the the state to apologise for its role in the Magdalene Laundries and its failure to provide justice and redress to survivors. He made his comments during a Private Members Debate on a Sinn Féin motion seeking justice for the Magdalene survivors.
Deputy Ellis said:
"It would be convenient for us to shift the blame totally on to Church and the Order who carried out these acts but the state who funded them directly and indirectly is guilty also. Silence, inaction, apathy and collaboration are not the deeds of the innocent.
This state allowed the Catholic Church free rein for many years. Some clergy were and are good, decent genuine people but it is now undeniable fact that the Church was riddled in this country with people who lacked the most basic humanity, treating women and children especially like nothing more than their property useful but deserving of nothing but hate, violence and abuse.
But what will the government do for these people who suffered at the hands of the state?
A Committee has been set up to establish the extent of state involvement, which everyone knows is fact, I wish it good luck and welcome it but it will not offer any resolutions.
This state had a duty of care to its citizens, these women and girls. It failed utterly to protect these people and worse it cooperated in their persecution. Women and girls were kidnapped, abused, beaten, enslaved and told that it was them who were in the wrong.
The state must apologise. It must say “Never again”, it must make the horror of the laundries seem worse with every year by comparison to the humanity and care of the nation it carves out and it must now give redress and support to the survivors of these crimes, immediately."