MAGDALENE SURVIVORS HAVE said that they are expecting an apology from Taoiseach Enda Kenny next week, following a meeting they held with him today in London.
RTÉ reports that in a press conference following the two and a half hour-long meeting, they said that he listened to everything that they had to say, which they welcomed.
They described Kenny as sympathetic, and said they believed they will receive a heartfelt apology from the Taoiseach on Tuesday during a Dáil debate on the issue.
Also today, Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), the survivor advocacy group, said it is looking forward to the debate on the Magdalene Laundries Report in Dáil Éireann this coming Tuesday.
In advance of the debate, JFM is publishing a redacted version of its principal submission to the inter-departmental committee investigating State involvement with the Magdalene Laundries.
It said it is doing this with full permission from those who submitted their testimonies.
Our group welcomes the findings in the committee’s final report of “significant” and “direct” State involvement. We are concerned, however, that members of the Oireachtas and the general public have the opportunity to read and consider testimony from survivors and family members of conditions experienced within these institutions.
JFM’s principal submission can be accessed via its website. JFM is also encouraging members of the Oireachtas and the general public to read its Reparations and Restorative Justice Scheme, submitted to the Department of Justice on 14 October 2011, which can be accessed via its website.
The group is also inviting all members of the Oireachtas to a briefing on the Magdalene Laundries Report that is co-sponsored by Amnesty-International, Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and JFM at Leinster House, at 12 noon on Tuesday.
Finally, JFM said it is calling on the public to stand in solidarity with survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and their families at a candlelit vigil to outside Dáil Éireann on Tuesday at 5pm.
The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has coordinated the vigil, at which the singer Mary Coughlan will participate.
Magdalene Survivors Together
Magdalene Survivors Together said that on Tuesday they will attend the long awaited Dáil debate.
Steven O’ Riordan, head of the group, said that they will hold a press conference outside the Dáil after the debate, where they will also discuss how they feel they should be compensated for their loss of wages and their ideas for a national monument.
Maureen Sullivan, survivor and member of the Magdalene Survivors Together group, said:
Who would have imagined that a little over seven years ago, I along with all these other women would be going into the Dáil to hear a leader of our country apologise for what happened to us? Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen but it looks like it will. It just goes to show that you must never give up, ever.
Magdalene Survivors Together has also requested that the Taoiseach include St Mary’s Training Centre, Stanhope Street, Dublin and St Mary’s Training Centre, Summerhill, Wexford in his apology.
O’ Riordan said that MST have submitted over 10 survivor testimonies along with photos outlining their reasons for them to be included.
On Wednesday 20 February at 7.30pm, TG4 will screen Steven O’ Riordan’s The Forgotten Maggies documentary.