No state compensation for Magdelene abuse

THE GROUP campaigning for justice for women housed in Magdalene Laundries has been told the state accepts abuse took place in these facilities, but it won’t admit any liability that could make it duty bound to pay compensation.

Justice for Magdalenes met with officials from the Department of Justice yesterday to discuss their ongoing campaign for a state apology and redress for women who were locked in laundries run by the religious orders and used as unpaid workers.

Professor James Smith of the JFM Advisory Committee said department officials admitted to them yesterday that the state accepted there was abuse in these facilities as documented by the Ryan report and other survivor testimonies.

“We were told that the state is prepared to work towards an apology, but that an apology would be vetted by the Attorney General to ensure that the state was not admitting liability,” Professor Smith said.

JFM spokeswoman Claire Mc Gettrick said they believe that the state is “relying on the fact that an elderly and ageing group of marginalised women, with limited financial resources, are unlikely to seek justice and damages through the courts”.

JFM have spent the past year researching the role of the state in sending women to these laundries and have obtained records showing that the Department of Health allowed for women to be sent to these homes from mother and baby homes, while the Department of Social and Family Affairs admit they never received social insurance contributions from women housed there who were known to be working.

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