JUSTICE FOR MAGDALENES (JFM) – the survivor advocacy group – have today called for a ‘dignified debate’ in the run-up to this evening’s debate on the issue.
The motion, which is to take place during private members’ time both this evening and tomorrow, had been called last weekend by Mary Lou McDonald – the Deputy Leader of Sinn Féin.
Responding to the call, JFM described the motion as ‘reasonable and driven by survivors’ pressing needs.’
The government should address these needs immediately and survivors can no longer be asked to wait until the publication of the Inter-Departmental Committee’s final report. Simply put, many women just don’t have that time. They need help now.
The motion has the support not only of Sinn Féin, but of 17 other Independent TDs.
Last week, JFM provided every TD and Senator with a copy of their previous submission to the committee which had been set up to investigate State involvement with the Magdalene Laundries.
Speaking in a statement, JFM said that they ‘look forward to a thorough and considerate discussion of the issue’.
The historical record will show that the Justice for Magdalenes Campaign has been supported by politicians at every level, from every political party and by a range of Independents. We hope that this wide measure of support will continue and voices from all parties register their part in the imminent debate.
Our anxiety to build consensus is driven by the understanding that if there is not a clear and strong endorsement of the motion by Dáil Éireann, the women who were held in the Magdalene Laundries will yet again receive the message that their experiences, their lives are not worthy of dignity nor respect.
Speaking earlier this week, McDonald had said that:
The treatment of the 30,000 women and girls of the Magdalene Laundries goes to the very core of what was wrong historically in Irish society.