Justice For Magdalenes Research group voices redress concern

The Justice For Magdalenes Research (JFMR) group has written to the Ombudsman expressing its long-held concerns over the Magdalene redress scheme.

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall notified the Department of Justice of its intention to launch an investigation into the scheme last December.

In February, JFMR sent a 14-page letter to the office of the Ombudsman outlining eight separate areas where it claimed the scheme was not being administered fairly by the department, including:

  • The failure to provide the full range of health and community care services recommended by Mr Justice Quirke in 2013;
  • Failure to backdate pension payments to retirement age;
  • The lack of assistance for particularly vulnerable Magdalene survivors;
  • The failure to establish important aspects of the recommended dedicated unit;
  • The lack of fair procedures and/or transparency regarding the duration of time assessment;
  • The unreasonable exclusion of women who worked as children in Magdalene Laundries on the basis of an irrationally narrow interpretation of the “admitted to” criterion;
  • Lack of public access to the archive of state records informing the IDC Report;
  • The refusal to accept state responsibility for forced labour or other abuse in Magdalene Laundries.

The department has at all times claimed it is administering the scheme in line with recommendations.

The Ombudsman will examine whether the application process operated in a clear, open, fair and consistent manner; whether the department relied on irrelevant and/or incomplete information when deciding on a person’s eligibility under the scheme, and the various practices of the department in sourcing, gathering and evaluating information on the institutions covered by the scheme.

The Ombudsman has received 30 complaints from applicants to the redress scheme and, following its intervention, the department reversed its decision to refuse redress in four cases.


Lifestyle

We hear a lot about the geese, ducks and swans that arrive here from colder climes for the winter, but much less about smaller birds that come here to escape harsher conditions in northern Europe.Keep an eye out for redwings this winter

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