Magdalene advocacy group ends campaign

The survivors advocacy group, Justice for Magdalenes, has announced the end of its political campaign as its twin objectives of an official state apology and the establishment of a compensation scheme have been achieved.

Justice for Magdalenes began its work four years ago, and brought the issue of the State’s involvement in the Magdalene laundries to the UN Commission Against Torture (UNCAT).

Without UNCAT, the McAleese report into the laundries, the Taoiseach’s apology, and the subsequent redress scheme would likely not have taken place.

Last night, in a public notice on their website, JFM said they have made the decision to step down the campaign as it has “achieved all that it can by way of political advocacy”.

“The responsibility to ensure that justice is delivered to survivors of the Laundries now rests with all members of Irish society, including Church, State, families and local communities. It is the collective responsibility of all citizens to ensure that the promise of An Taoiseach’s official State apology is delivered upon.”

Last night, the group emphasised that, in personal capacities, members will continue to assist survivors and relatives if they need help as they deal with the Magdalene Commission.

Meanwhile, Magdalene Survivors Together has announced the death of Magee O’Connell who, it said, is the oldest known survivor of a laundry. She was born in 1916 in Dromina in Co Cork. The group said that when she was 34 both her parents died and it was suggested by the local parish priest that she should sell her home and farm. It said upon selling her home he put her into the Good Shepherd Convent in Sunday’s Well. She left in 1993.

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