As it Happened: Magdalene Laundries Report
A report into the Magdalene Laundries has found the State was directly involved in the running of the laundries, with just over one quarter of referrals made by or facilitated by the State.
- Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the report deals with 10,012 women
- The actual number of known admissions was 14,607
- The average age was 23, the youngest entrant was nine, the oldest entrant was 89
- Many instances of verbal censure, scoldings and humiliating put-downs
- No allegations of sexual abuse. A minority reported physical abuse
- Justice for Magdalenes said the Taoiseach's statement "falls far short of ... full and sincere apology"
- Read the Full Report ¦ Executive Summary
Prime Time this evening will focus on the report into the Magdalene Laundries
Labour Women welcomed the report, and said: "Any benefit that the State received by the Magdalene Laundries, be it in the form of placing women in a place of incarceration or benefitting from their virtually unpaid work, must be acknowledged.
"The Magdalene Laundries did not operate in secrecy. Their services were paid for by various bodies such as hotels, local people knew about them, as did the wider society. Their existence was not challenged. An apology should be something the entire nation owes to the Magdalene girls and women."
RTÉ Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent Joe Little examines how today's report came about.
Right of Place Second Chance, an organisation that supports Survivors of Industrial School Abuse, has said it is disappointed with the report.
It said the report "did not go far enough and the comparison between those who suffered in industrial schools was unfair to both groups. This is a fundamental flaw as comparisons between personal suffering experienced by both groups is disrespectful to Magdalene survivors and re-traumatising to survivors of institutional abuse.
"This reflects poorly on the understanding of an ongoing need for support for the most vulnerable survivors in society."
The group called on the Government to "implement a programme that will support survivors in health, welfare and care for the remainder of their lives".
Asked about the criticism of Enda Kenny's response to the report, the Taoiseach's spokesperson said he was not in a position to go beyond what was said.
He said a response has been issued, but obviously further study of the report will be needed, which would inform the Dáil debate in a fortnight's time.
The spokesperson would not be drawn on the question of possible redress for residents.
A spokesperson for Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said that he would echo the Taoiseach's apology to former residents of the laundries for the delay in removing the stigma from them.
Survivor Josephine Meade speaks to Paschal Sheehy about her treatment in the laundries
Claire McGettrick said that the women know that it was not present politicians that were responsible, but an apology from the State would mean so much to them.
Claire McGettrick says that we do not know the full facts because not all the women who have been affected have come forward. She said records do not exist for two laundries.
She said that their country has failed them yet again.
Claire McGettrick from the Justice for Magdalenes group tells the Six One news that for Enda Kenny to decline the opportunity to apologise today prolongs the stigma.