Groups call for laundries to be included in probe

Four social justice organisations are now calling for the inquiry into mother-and-baby homes to be widened to include Magdalene laundries and county homes.

Groups call for laundries to be included in probe

Justice for Magdalenes Research, the Adoption Rights Alliance, Bethany Survivors Group and the National Women’s Council of Ireland are now all jointly calling for the investigation to be carried out by an independent commission, including at least one international expert.

Katherine O’Donnell of JFMR said: “The establishment of an independent commission with the power and obligation to obtain all information necessary to the inquiry, including in relation to the operation of Magdalene laundries, is absolutely essential to ensuring that the truth of what happened in all of these institutions is brought to light.”

ARA co-founder Susan Lohan said it was “imperative”, given the international dimension to forced adoptions, that there is an international expert in the field involved.

James Smith of Boston College and JFMR said the inclusion of the Magdalene laundries in any investigation was vital.

“The women of the Magdalene laundries demand and deserve inclusion in this investigation given the extent of movement of women and children between mother-and- baby homes and Magdalene laundries and the fact that the McAleese Committee’s terms of reference did not allow it to investigate individual complaints of abuse or examine fully the religious orders’ financial records,” he said.

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