Magdalene redress refusals to be reversed

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan will brief Cabinet today of his intention to fully implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations on the Magdalene laundries redress scheme.

Last November, the Ombudsman, Peter Tyndall, published a scathing a report into the scheme, which found that the Department of Justice had wrongly refused some Magdalene laundry survivors access to redress payments.

The report made a number of recommendations, the key one being that the department fully reconsider, with a view to accepting, the applications of women who worked in one of the listed Magdalene laundries but who were recorded as having been “admitted” to a training centre or industrial school in the same building, attached to or located on the grounds of the laundry.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the justice minister met the ombudsman on April 10. At the meeting, which was described as “positive and constructive”, Mr Flanagan indicated that he fully intended to work with the ombudsman to give effect to the recommendations made in the report.

On foot of that meeting, Mr Flanagan will today brief Cabinet of his intention to bring forward proposals to fully implement the ombudsman’s recommendations. A memo will be brought to Cabinet in the next couple of months with finalised plans for implementation.

Many of the women excluded from the redress scheme were in the An Grianán training centre in the High Park Magdalene Laundry in Dublin. They were denied access to the scheme by the department because they had been admitted to An Grianán and not the laundry directly, even though they had worked in the laundry.

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