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Government misses another opportunity to give victims of Magdalene laundries succour – Ó Clochartaigh

24 February, 2015


Speaking today at the Second Stage debate on the “Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill”, Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh stated that the government has missed an opportunity to deliver in full the adequate redress these women have the right to expect, and which has been so long denied them. 

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“This legislation does not honour the promise made by the Government in June 2013 to implement in full all of Justice Quirke’s recommendations for a Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme. The Minister must correct the deficiencies in her legislation. What is also needed, in addition to the redress scheme, is a thorough independent statutory, judicially led investigation of the experiences of the victims of the Magdalene Laundries. This included inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and forced labour.”

“I want to further emphasise that we are talking about is an ex-gratia scheme initiated by the government and designed to persuade these victims to accept less than the full effective remedy to which they would be otherwise entitled under law, in the interests of saving the State the potential expense to which it would be exposed should each individual victim take their case to court.”

“The government have not honoured their side of this agreement, nor have they honoured their promise to implement in full all of Justice Quirke’s recommendations for a Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme. What is needed now is the establishment of a full Commission of Investigation, as was done for the victims of Residential Institutions and Mother and Baby Homes.” 

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