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Government must take responsibility for the women of the Magdalene Laundries – Deputy Séan Crowe

26 July, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe has welcomed the comments from the special rapporteur on child protection and child law Geoffrey Shannon who this week criticised the State’s refusal to accept responsibility for the Magdalene Laundry issue.

Deputy Crowe said: “Geoffrey Shannon’s scathing criticism of the Government for failing to accept responsibility for the plight of the women of the Magdalene Laundries is a timely reminder of the State’s failings to protect its citizens.

“It comes a week after the passing of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Bill when Sinn Féin amendments calling for the establishment of separate redress boards for the Magdalene Women and the survivors of Bethany Home were rejected by Education Minister Ruairí Quinn.

“I fully agree with Mr Shannon’s assessment of the women and girls in the Magdalene Laundries whose treatment can be constituted as slavery as defined under the 1930 Forced Labour Convention of the International Labour Organisation, which Ireland signed in 1931.

“There should also be a criminal probe into the Magdalene Laundries; an unequivocal apology on behalf of the State and a properly resourced system of redress to compensate and help the surviving women.

“The Government’s failure to act on this issue contrasts with what many Labour and FG TD’s said when in opposition and this is contributing to the hurt and suffering of the survivors of institutions like the Magdalene Laundries.

“In view of Geoffrey Shannon’s criticism it is time for the Government to act now and help those who were treated like slaves in places that were supposed to be safe havens and places of care.”


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