Fury as Magdalene report is delayed for third time

Justice for Magdalenes has reacted angrily to the announcement that a report investigating State involvement with the institutions is to be delayed for a third time.

The inter-departmental committee headed up by Dr Martin McAleese was set up in Jun 2011 and had been due to report its findings in September. This was later delayed until the end of the year. Justice Minister Alan Shatter then announced on Jan 9 he was due to receive the report within 10 days with a view to publication within four weeks.

However, speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the report had not in fact been brought to Government, and refused to give a definite date for its publication.

Instead, Mr Kenny said the report would “probably” be presented to Government in the next 10 days.

“I understand that it is in the final stages of completion,” he said. “Following the senator’s long discussions with various groups and the women involved, I am not sure whether he intends to give it to them in advance.

“They are pretty well acquainted with what the conclusions of the report will be.”

JFM hit out at the Taoiseach’s suggestion that survivors of the Magdalene Laundries were already aware of the findings, and have sought a clarification on his comments.

JFM spokeswoman Claire McGettrick said justice was first delayed and now was being dragged out indefinitely.

“The women at the centre of this process continue to be held hostage to the political process,” she said. “Each missed deadline further jeopardises their ability to benefit from an apology, pensions, and lost wages. First justice was denied. Then delayed. Now it is being dragged out.”

JFM has uncovered and published more than 50 examples of the State committing girls as young as 14 to laundries.

It also submitted more than 500 pages of survivor testimony to the inter-departmental committee — testimony in which women say they were imprisoned in Magdalene Laundries and had worked without pay.

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