McDonald welcomes commitment to publish Magdalene laundries report
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has this afternoon welcomed the Minister for Justice and Equality’s commitment that he intends to publish the Magdalene Laundries inter-Departmental Committee report within the next four weeks, and has called on Fine Gael and Labour Ministers to provide survivors of the Magdalene Laundries with the same apology and supports they called for when in opposition.
Deputy McDonald said:
“It is of course disappointing that the report will not be concluded until next week however we welcome the Minister for Justice & Equality’s commitment that he intends to publish the final report within the next four weeks. Whilst this is a step in the right direction what the women urgently need is an apology and redress.
“Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries have literally waited their whole lives for a mere acknowledgement of the wrong perpetrated against them by the state and religious orders. The bottom line is that they should wait no more. Fine Gael and Labour Ministers spoke fine words of support for the women when in opposition, now they must act on them.
“There are a number of immediate measures the Government could take in the interim that would provide much needed respite to these elderly women. A State funded helpline is desperately needed and could easily be put in place to offer support to the women.
“There are a number of women who currently cannot access pension and health related entitlements despite having worked in the Laundries for long numbers of years. Religious orders did not pay the women during their incarceration nor did they submit employee related returns to the Revenue Commissioner. The relevant Government Ministers can and must come together to ensure survivors of the Magdalene Laundries, most of whom are elderly women, can access their full health and welfare entitlements.”