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Magdalene redress scheme issues need to be clarified – McDonald

26 February, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has called on the Taoiseach to immediately clarify a number of outstanding issues with regards to the Magdalene redress scheme as announced last week.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Following his apology on behalf of the State to the surviving women of the Magdalene Laundries Enda Kenny published the terms of reference giving Mr Justice Quirke three months to devise a redress mechanism. We remain disappointed that the Taoiseach has instructed Mr Justice Quirke to advise on the establishment of an ex gratia scheme in place of a mechanism that accepts liability on behalf of the State.

“There are a number of outstanding issues the Taoiseach can and should clarify as a matter of urgency that are causing very real concern and upset for the surviving women.

“We still don’t know if the redress mechanism will be put on a statutory footing or if it will have an independent appeals process. The terms of reference appear to exclude women currently residing outside of Ireland and Britain yet we know of survivors living in other countries. Are they to be excluded? The government has also still not confirmed if Summerhill in Wexford will be included.

“None of these unanswered issues raised directly with the Taoiseach last week need to wait until Mr Justice Quirke reports back in three months. It would be simply unacceptable of the Taoiseach or his government to cause any further anxiety for the surviving women of the Magdalene Laundries.” ENDS

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