Eight Magdalene laundry survivors, who had been in dispute with the Department of Justice over the length of time they worked in a laundry, have received an additional redress payment.
The payments were made as part of an ongoing review process set up in the wake of Ombudsman Peter Tyndall’s scathing 2017 report into the Magdalene redress scheme.
That report found the Department of Justice had wrongly refused some Magdalene laundry survivors access to the scheme and that it had been maladministered by the Department.
One of the Ombudsman’s principal recommendations was that a review be undertaken of cases where there was a dispute over the length of time spent in a laundry.
This review is being carried out by barrister Mary O’Toole, who has identified some 214 cases for review — the majority of which had not been the subject of appeal by the applicants when the original award assessment has been made.
A total of 165 files have been opened for examination and a total of eight women have already received an additional payment.
Just 24 of the 99 women who applied to the widened redress scheme have received a payment. The scheme was widened in June of last year following the Ombudsman’s report.
A total of 99 applications under the widened scheme have been received by the department. These are made up of 52 cases refused under the original scheme who may now be eligible, and 47 new applications.
A total of 24 redress payments have been made, with 23 further offers awaiting a response.
Some 14 intending applicants have not yet completed some necessary forms while nine have outstanding queries with religious institutions, with the applicants themselves or with public bodies such as Tusla or HSE.
The department said that the time taken to process an application to completion depended on a range of factors ranging from “delays in submitting completed application forms to raising queries with institutions and other bodies and receiving/assessing replies”.
In February, the Irish Examiner highlighted the cases of 14 women who were in the An Grianán training centre and also worked in the High Park Magdalene laundry in Dublin, which was located in the same building. They had yet to receive an offer of redress despite being accepted to the widened scheme.
The Restorative Justice Unit within the Department of Justice, which administers the redress scheme, had told the women that the reason for the delay is that the order that ran the institution had stated that it stopped sending girls from An Grianán to work in the main laundry in 1980.
In April, the department accepted “on the balance of probabilities” that the women had worked in the laundry post-1980 and has made arrangements to grant the affected women the redress payment.