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Report from Magdalene Laundries Committee must be published – McDonald

19 December, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said the Taoiseach’s refusal to confirm when he will publish the report from the Magdalene Laundries inter-Departmental Committee is deeply disappointing.

Deputy McDonald raised the issue of the report, which is due to be presented to the government by the end of the month, with the Taoiseach in the Dáil this morning but he refused he refused to confirm when the report will be published.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries are elderly and many are unwell. The abuse they suffered during their incarceration in the Laundries has still not been acknowledged by the State and the work they were enslaved to carry out remains unpaid. The Minister for Social Protection still refuses to pay out basic entitlements such as the old age pension to many of these women.

“Justice Minister Alan Shatter has confirmed that the inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalene Laundries, established over a year ago, will finally present its report to the government by the end of this month. While there is an abundance of evidence in the public domain which has already established wide spread state involvement in the incarceration of these women, the conclusion of the committee’s work will be nonetheless welcome.

“Senator McAleese’s report must be made public on presentation to the Minister for Justice. For far too long a cloud of State secrecy has surrounded this huge injustice.

“The Dáil must be given time to debate the findings of the report early in the new year and a redress mechanism must be put in place for the women as a matter of urgency. Pension and health related entitlements must be provided immediately by the Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Health.

“Fine Gael and Labour spoke many fine words in support of the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries when in opposition. It’s time now to turn these words into action.” ENDS

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