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Sinn Féin demands inquiry into the “Magdalene Laundries”

20 February, 2013

Speaking today after the OFMdFM Committee meeting, Sinn Féin MLA, Megan Fearon said:

“The recent Inquiry and report carried out by Senator McAleese into the “Magdalene Laundries” has highlighted the suffering and exploitation of many women across the island. 

"Whilst the report focuses on those institutions in the 26 counties there can be no doubt that such institutions also operated here in the 6 counties but the plight of women here was not covered in Senator McAleese’s report.

"The women who ended up on these laundries did not do so of their own volition so there is a duty and responsibility on the state to investigate and report on what happened in these institutions.

"Whilst those under 18 will be able to go to the Acknowledgement Forum and the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry those who were aged over 18 and in the laundries have no place to go to have their suffering investigated.

"When the issue of child abuse in institutions was brought to the attention of the First minister and deputy First minister and the Executive as a whole they responded by establishing the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. 

"We believe that there is a compelling compassionate case for the abuses suffered by those women, who were in the laundries, to be given the same consideration and compassion, whether that is through the Executive or the Assembly”.

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