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Stop treating Magdalene Survivors as second class victims – McDonald

29 January, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin deputy leader and Dublin TD Mary Lou McDonald today called on the Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald to use her power, and the opportunity of her Redress for Women in Certain Institutions Bill, to stop treating Magdalene Laundry survivors as second class victims.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The Minister’s proposed legislation does not represent the adequate redress these women have the right to expect, and which has been so long denied them.  It falls short of the Quirke recommendations in respect of medical services and pension rights. The Minister must correct the deficiencies in her legislation. What is needed, in addition to the redress scheme, is a thorough independent statutory investigation of the experiences of the victims of the Magdalene Laundries. This included inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary deprivation of liberty and forced labour.”

“It is not acceptable that the Magdalene women continue to be treated by the State and by this Government not only as second class citizens but as second class victims.”

“What is now needed, in addition to full implementation of the Quirke recommendations, is a thorough independent investigation into the Magdalene Laundries, either by way of a dedicated statutory Commission, or as an express part of the new Commission of Investigation that the government is establishing.” 

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