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Ó Caoláin: Astonishing sums paid to Magdalene orders – no excuse for denying redress to survivors

16 June, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has revealed that €87 million was paid by the Health Service Executive since 2006 to the orders involved in the Magdalene laundries.

The information was obtained in a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Ó Caoláin to the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly TD.

Deputy Ó Caoláin described the sum as “astonishing”.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said:

“The figures I have received indicate that in the past five years alone, three of the four orders involved in the Magdalene laundries have received a combined total of over €87 million from the state in revenue and capital funding.

“This contrasts sharply with the state’s treatment of the women imprisoned in these institutions, who received no pay for their years of work, are in receipt of no pension and were excluded from the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

“In view of these astonishing figures, there can be no excuse for Government refusing to set up a redress scheme for these women. If it can continue to pay €20 million per year to the orders who ran the laundries it can certainly give the women who survived them their due.” ENDS

Note to Editors: Parliamentary Question follows

* To ask the Minister for Health and Children the amount of funding he has paid in each of the past five years to the four religious orders involved in the Magdalene Laundries, namely the Sisters of Mercy, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Sisters of Charity and the Good Shepherd Sisters; the purpose of the funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

I have received the information requested by the Deputy, from the Health Service Executive, and it is set out in the tables below.
Revenue Funding
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
€000’s €000’s €000’s €000’s €000’s
Sisters of Mercy 309 521 595 582 511
Sisters of Our Lady of Charity - - - - -
Sisters of Charity 2,632 15,714 16,489 17,219 16,568
Good Shepherd Sisters 2,885 3,453 3,006 2,661 2,602
Total 5,826 19,688 20,090 20,462 19,681

Capital Funding 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
€000’s €000’s €000’s €000’s €000’s
Sisters of Mercy - - - - -
Sisters of Our Lady of Charity - - - - -
Sisters of Charity 863 529 - 200 -
Good Shepherd Sisters - - - - -
Total 863 529 - 200 -

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