Taoiseach Enda Kenny to have further meetings with Magdalene survivors

Tuesday 12 February 2013 23.37
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said the nature of the apology still has to be worked out
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said the nature of the apology still has to be worked out

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to have further meetings with survivors of the Magdalane Laundries before next week's Dáil debate on the McAleese report.

Mr Kenny told the Dáil he hoped to have the meetings, which will be in Ireland and abroad, before the weekend.

A Government spokesperson said details for the further meetings are being worked on.

They would not confirm speculation that one of the meetings would be in Britain.

Earlier, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said he believes an apology from the State to the Magdalene survivors is forthcoming.

However, he said the nature of that apology still has to be worked out.

He said Mr Kenny was right to read the report, digest it and meet some of the survivors before making any comment.

Fianna Fáil has welcomed reports that the Government is to make a full apology to residents of the Magdalene Laundries, but is seeking confirmation in the Dáil that the apology is to come.

The party's justice spokesperson Niall Collins said the Taoiseach appeared to be bowing to public pressure to issue a full apology.

A Fianna Fáil motion on the issue is to be debated in the Dáil tonight and tomorrow.

Mr Collins said the debate would give the Taoiseach an opportunity to make the apology or to confirm that he will do so.

He denied that the debate was a waste of time, given that the Dáil is already due to debate the report next week.

The motion also calls for the establishment of a dedicated unit within the Department of Justice to co-ordinate the State's response, including all forms of redress that should be provided.