The Justice for Magdalenes campaign group has discovered that women were transferred from State-funded mother and baby homes to Magdalene laundries, where they were held against their will and without their children.

The group said the evidence strengthens the case for an immediate State apology and compensation to former detainees.

Last year the UN Committee Against Torture strongly criticised the Government's failure to apologise to and compensate former detainees of the State's ten Catholic-run Magdalene laundries.

Today some 500 pages of testimony - gathered in recent months from 13 survivors - was given to the McAleese Committee, which was established by the Government in response to the UN's criticisms.

Justice for Magdalenes said it acknowledged the important work being done by Senator Martin McAleese at the request of the Government to ascertain the exact nature of the State's involvement with the laundries.

However, it insists this should not impede access by the hundreds of women involved to an apology and redress in the twilight of their lives.

The Department of Justice responded by saying the Government would decide its course of action after considering and publishing Dr McAleese's report this summer.