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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 31 October, 2014

“An apology needs to be addressed” – Labour puts pressure on Taoiseach

The statement issued by the party’s TDs and Senators this evening increases the pressure on Fine Gael in the wake of the Taoiseach’s non-apology.

The former Magdalene Laundry on Sean MacDermott Street
The former Magdalene Laundry on Sean MacDermott Street
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE LABOUR PARTY has said that the issue of a full apology to the women of the Magdalene Laundries “needs to be addressed”.

In a statement this evening, the party’s TDs and Senators said the women held in the institutions should be “vindicated and honoured” and said that “they should receive justice”.

“The issuing of a formal apology by the Government needs to be addressed in this context,” the statement says.

The clear split from the party’s coalition partners on the issue puts immense pressure on Fine Gael. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been widely criticised for not apologising to the survivors in the wake of the publications of the McAleese Report yesterday.

“More than any other political party, we have, over the decades, challenged the backward conservative society that served as a back drop to institutions like the Magdalene Laundries,” the statement from the parliamentary party said.

The parliamentary party was today united in the view that these women should be vindicated and honoured, and that they should receive justice, and the issuing of a formal apology by the Government needs to be addressed in this context.
As far as the parliamentary Labour Party is concerned, the treatment inflicted on these women was an historical wrong that has to be put right.

At a meeting of the Labour parliamentary party today, TDs and Senators are believed to have been strongly critical of the Government’s failure to issue a full apology to the women.

Advocacy groups for survivors of the laundries have called on Enda Kenny to issue a full apology for the State’s involvement in the laundries.

The McAleese report found that just over 10,000 women were held in eight laundries from 1922 onwards. The State was responsible for sending just over one quarter of the women to the institutions.

Read: This is how the world reacted to the Magdalene Laundries report >

Read: Labour TDs say government needs to apologise over Magdalene Laundries >

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