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Tánaiste attempting to absolve state responsibility for Magdalene Laundry victims - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

2 March, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that it has become apparent that the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, and her department officials have been misleading both the UN and the Dáil in the recent past on the responsibility of the state in admissions to the Magdalene Laundries.

Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said;

"On the 15th of February last in Geneva, at a hearing of the United Nations Convention of Equality Against Women, a representative from the Department of Justice stated that whilst the Taoiseach made an apology to the Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries, he did so despite the fact that in the McAleese Report there was no finding that the State had any liability.

"Minister Fitzgerald has stated the same on the Dáil record in the not too distant past.

"I quote from Paragraph 2 of the McAleese Report:

“ 'This Report has established that approximately 10,000 women are known to have entered a Magdalene Laundry from the foundation of the state in 1922 until the closure of the last Laundry in 1996.'

"It continues:

“ 'Of the cases in which routes of entry are known, 26.5% were referrals made or facilitated by the state.'

So that to me says that the state were directly responsible for 2,650 of these cases.

"Not only is both the Minister and her representative to the UN guilty of peddling untruths, they are being quite insulting to those whom the Taoiseach issued his apology in 2012.

"The Quirke Report recommended establishing a “dedicated unit” with Magdalene Survivors under the auspices of the Department of Justice to discuss a permanent memorial dedicated to the Women and Children of the Magdalene Laundries. 

"This was agreed in 2013, but is still yet to happen. 

"It was 4 years last month, so I hope that Minister Fitzgerald can see to it that this is brought to fruition in the very near future."

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