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Taoiseach must issue full apology to Magdalene women – McDonald

6 February, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has again called on the Taoiseach to issue a full apology on behalf of the State to the surviving women of the Magdalene Laundries.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The Taoiseach has wrongly asserted that the McAleese report is the first occasion on which we have had documented evidence of the abuses in the Magdalene laundries.

“In 2009 the Ryan Report detailed the forced unpaid labour, denial of liberty to women and significant physical and emotional abuse which took place in the laundries.

“The report released yesterday confirms again that the State was complicit in the detention of women, in the roots of entry to these laundries, in the State inspection of these laundries and in direct State funding.

“Despite the reports finding of State involvement in the women’s incarceration the Taoiseach has again refused to apologise on behalf of the State to those women for what they have endured.

“In the Dáil this morning the Taoiseach set out every reason why he should apologise to the women. He believes the women and he recognises the wrong done to them. The report itself confirms, yet again, State complicity in that wrongdoing.

“On publication of the report yesterday the surviving women thought their story would be fully validated and that the Taoiseach would conclusively remove that awful stigma with which they have lived.

“Questions must be asked about the Taoiseach’s motivation for failing to apologise to these women. The role of responsible government is not to circle the wagons to protect the State from any financial liability that might arise from its participation in wrongdoing.

“Citizens right across this country are watching in horror as they hear yet another story of brutalisation within institutions and of the State's relationship with those institutions and the State's stubbornness in refusing to face, head on, its responsibilities to the victims.” ENDS

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