Survivors wait for State apology

Tuesday 05 February 2013 20.23
Survivors of the laundries have expressed disappointment that there has been no full official apology
Survivors of the laundries have expressed disappointment that there has been no full official apology

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries have expressed disappointment that there has been no full official apology.

The long-awaited report into the laundries, which was published today, found significant State involvement in them.

More than 25% of the women who ended up in the laundries were sent there by State authorities.

Speaking in the Dáil, Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed his regret, but stopped short of offering a full apology.

Mr Kenny said the report reflected a harsh and uncompromising Ireland of between the 1920s and the 1950s.

He proposed a full Dáil debate be held on the report in two weeks' time.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter apologised on behalf of the State for the delay in inquiring into the laundries and their impact on the women who lived in them.

In a statement, the minister said he was sorry the State did not do more.

He said the Government recognised that the former residents alive today, who are still affected by their experiences, deserved the best State supports possible.

The Magdalene Survivors Together group has called on the Taoiseach and the religious orders who ran the laundries to give an apology.

They have also called for compensation to be given to the residents.

The group said while they were happy the report had been published, they believed that much denial still existed regarding the laundries.

Sally Mulready of the Irish Women's Survivors Network said the remaining survivors of the laundries were seeking a fast, fair and just resolution.

Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald welcomed the fact that there will be a Dáil debate on the matter, but said today was the time for a full apology.