JUSTICE FOR MAGDALENES (JFM) has called on the Government to provide Magadalene Laundry survivors with a “fair, non-adversarial and transparent compensation package”.
They made the call after Justice and Equality Minister Alan Shatter said that a comprehensive package was being worked on following the publication of the McAleese report into the laundries.
JFM said is in agreement with the London Irish Women Survivors Support Group and Magdalene Survivors Together that a package needs to be prepared that includes pensions, healthcare and counselling, housing services and advice.
In addition, we are also in agreement that lump sum compensation must be paid to the women, to compensate for the effects of the abuse that they suffered in the laundries.
JFM devised its own reparations scheme in consultation with surviving women in Ireland, the UK and the US, and also with Councillor Sally Mulready and Phyllis Morgan of the Irish Women’s Survivors’ Support Group in London. It submitted its scheme on 14 October 2011 and said it has consistently sought meetings to discuss it further with the Minister.
The group proposes a benchmark figure of €100,000 lump sum compensation for Magdalene survivors, in addition to a package of services including pensions and lost wages.
It says this amount “reflects that women are foregoing important legal rights to go before the courts”. JFM said it is most concerned that any government package “should not continue to take advantage of the acute financial and other needs of surviving women”.
Yesterday, Magdalene survivors spoke with the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. Afterwards, they said they expect a heartfelt apology from him on behalf of the State in Dáil Éireann on Tuesday.