Mary Lou McDonald welcomes commitment to Magdalene Laundry survivors payments
Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has welcomed commitments made by the Taoiseach today that outstanding redress payments to women who survived the Magdalene Laundries will now be progressed, and full medical cards are to be provided.
Deputy McDonald also raised concerns regarding recent changes to the scheme application process.
The Dublin Central TD said:
“Yesterday the Justice Minister finally brought the outstanding legal advice to cabinet enabling his department progress redress payments to survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.
“A year has passed since the Ombudsman published his report following an investigation by the Office into the administration of the Magdalene redress scheme.
“The Ombudsman’s investigation found a serious inconsistency in the Department's application of the redress schemes eligibility criteria.
“Women recorded as admitted to a different institution closely associated with another named laundry, were wrongly refused admission to the Scheme.
“Even after the investigation was complete and the recommendations prepared, the first instinct of the Department was to double down and push back.
“Whilst I welcomed the Government’s belated decision in April to accept in full the recommendations made by the Ombudsman, I am utterly disappointed that it took a further six months for the Department to finally right the wrong.
“In the Dáil yesterday I raised with the Taoiseach the decision of the Justice Department to change the redress scheme application process to now require elderly women to include the weekly hours they worked in their respective laundries decades ago.
“The Taoiseach has stated that the change is to ensure women receive their full entitlements and that an inability to provide the full hours will not result in reduced payments.
"I have written to the Minister for Justice to restate the Taoiseach’s commitments to the women.
“The Taoiseach also confirmed that a full medical card will be provided to the women once the necessary legislation has been passed. There can be no delay in this urgent piece of legislation.”