Magdalene survivors ‘being punished twice’

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries are being made to feel they are being punished for a second time due to Government indifference, the Dáil has heard.

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan demanded Taoiseach Enda Kenny live up to the promises he made to the women and ensure they get the compensation and respect they deserve.

“The effect is that some ladies are being excluded from redress, while others are being offered less than that to which they might be entitled.

“There are those who feel so defeated by this extra burden they are being obliged to shoulder that it is like being back in the laundries for them.”

“As a result of the fact that inadequate records were kept in some places, an enormous burden of proof has been placed on some of the ladies involved.”

“One would imagine that a much more flexible approach could be adopted at this point and that the ladies to whom I refer could be given the benefit of the doubt. “However, the opposite is the case because it has been left to them to prove that they were in the laundries.”

Ms O’Sullivan also voiced concern at the length of time it was taking to sort out compensation for many of the survivors.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said: “We will ensure there will be no delays. One of the issues which arose as a result of this entire episode is that which relates to the retention of records.

“We are concerned with regard to the fact that the destruction of any of those records would represent a significant loss.

“Legislation is being prepared in order to ensure that the relevant records will be protected.”


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