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State and Catholic Church must make public apology to survivors of Magdalene institutions – Adams

11 May, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and TD for the constituency of Louth and East Meath Gerry Adams has said that the State and the Catholic Church owe a public apology to the survivors of Magdalene institutions.

Mr. Adams said that it is not too late to do the right thing and called on the Government, in its dialogue with the Catholic Church to revisit the existing redress scheme for survivors with regard to those incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries.

Speaking during Taoiseach’s Questions Mr. Adams said:

“It is high time that the survivors of Magdalene institutions received a public apology from both the State and the Catholic Church.

“A report prepared by the HSE gives details of how many young mothers were transferred from State-run mother-and-baby homes to these unregulated Magdalene Laundries. Many of these women were confined for large periods of their lives working for nuns without pay or pension. They were convicted of no crime and in many cases lived and died in these institutions.

“The culpability of the state in the incarceration of these women cannot be ignored. At the very least they deserve an apology.

“The Government must also look to revisiting the existing redress scheme for survivors with regard to the women who were confined to Magdalene institutions.

“It is not too late to do the right thing. The years that these women were unjustly incarcerated cannot be taken back but they can be given the justice that they rightly deserve and that is long overdue.”

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