THE PROCESS OF providing redress to the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries gets under way from today following the issuing of a full state apology to the women by Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night.
Kenny issued an emotional apology to the women in the Dáil last night saying that a recent report into the State’s involvement in the incarceration of thousands of women “shines a bright and necessary light on a dark chapter of Ireland’s history”.
From today survivors of the laundries are being invited to contact the Department of Justice to register their case for State support in lieu of the unpaid work they carried out in the harsh conditions of the laundries which were open between 1922 and 1996.
Former judge Justice John Quirke is to under take a three month review to establish the best ways in which to provide redress for the women who received no pay for their work.
Payments are likely to come in the form of pension payments, and benefits including medical cards, psychological and counselling services as well as other welfare needs.
“This is a national shame for which I again say, I am deeply sorry and offer my full and heartfelt apologies,” Kenny told the Dáil last night.
Survivors can contact the Department of Justice in relation to the redress process at the address: Magdalen Laundry Fund, c/o Department of Justice and Equality, Montague Court, Montague Street, Dublin 2.
“My Department will also be in touch with the Representative Groups on this matter,” Justice Minister Alan Shatter told the Dáil last night.
He added: “We are determined that the money in question will be solely for the benefit of the women, not for the legal profession or others.
“In that context, I am confident that Mr Justice Quirke will devise a Scheme which will be straightforward and include every administrative assistance for applicants.