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Justice Minister must publish Magdalene Laundries Committee’s terms of reference

13 July, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has today expressed deep disappointment at Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s attempts to avoid publishing the Magdalene Laundries inter-Departmental Committees Terms of Reference.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Last week I submitted a question to the Justice Minister asking him to publish the Magdalene Laundries inter-Departmental Committee’s terms of reference. Disappointingly the Minister has dodged the question noting only the bare bones of the Committee’s work as announced in his initial press statement.

“There should be no reason in the world for the Minister to avoid making public the Committee’s terms of reference and any attempt to withhold such fundamental details of the Committee’s work will do its Chairperson Senator McAleese a great disservice.

“The women and children incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries were failed by the State. Their efforts to seek justice have been met with silence and secrecy. When in opposition the Minister voiced his criticism of the previous Government’s treatment of the Magdalene Survivors. Deputy Shatter is now in a position to right this wrong on behalf of the State.

“Publishing the Committee’s terms of reference will be another step in the right direction.” ENDS

Note to Editor:

QUESTION NO: 326
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)
by Deputy Mary Lou McDonald
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 12th July, 2011.
* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will immediately publish the Magdalene Laundries inter-departmental committee terms of reference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. - Mary Lou McDonald

REPLY.
I can advise the Deputy that the inter-departmental committee is charged with establishing the facts of the State's involvement and clarifying any State interaction with the Magdalen Laundries and with producing a narrative detailing such interaction. The working arrangements of the committee will be a matter for the chairperson of the committee, Senator Martin McAleese.

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