Tonight’s Prime Time, which is live before a studio audience, looks at the big story of the day – the report into the Magdalen Laundries which has found a “significant” level of State involvement in sending women to these “lonely and frightening” places.
More than a quarter of the 11,500 women who passed through ten institutions between 1922 and 1996 were sent there by the state or court order.
The stories of the experiences of the women who lived and worked in these laundries have been well-documented by Prime Time and elsewhere, and the report confirms a harsh environment involving physically demanding work which produced a traumatic and lasting impact on the women.
It also found that the laundries were not operated on a commercial or highly profitable basis but, at the same time, the women were paid no salaries.
In the Dáil today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was sorry that the women had to live in that sort of environment and he apologised for the length of time it took for a report to be produced but he did not apologise officially on behalf of the State.
Tonight, groups representing women who lived and worked in the laundries, and their families, are calling for an apology from the State and for compensation for what these women endured. Those calls have been echoed by Amnesty International Ireland.
Some of those women, their families and those campaigning in this area will join us in the Prime Time studio tonight to give their reaction to the report and to the Taoiseach’s comments. And we’ll have a report by Tanya Sillem following up on her recent report into the women of the Magdalen Laundries and giving all today’s developments and reaction. You can read her previous blog post here.
Also tonight, Eithne O’Brien tells the story of Rochfortbridge; how one Irish town fared from boom to bust. And in studio, we’ll be joined by top German economist Hans-Werner Sinn, who’ll tell us why he believes Ireland does not need a deal on its bank debt.
Prime Time, 21:35, RTÉ 1