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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 22 December, 2014

Magdalene survivors to meet with President at Áras today

The women said it will be a day for them to enjoy but that their work is “just getting started”.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

MEMBERS OF THE Magdalene Survivors Together group will today meet with President Michael D Higgins at Áras on Uachtaráin.

Spokesperson for the group, Steven O’Riordan said that it would be “a great way to wrap up all the hard work that I and the woman have done with regard to the Magdalene Laundries”.

O’Riordan and the women will meet with the President at around 2.30 at the Áras, where they will spend over an hour on this visit.

Commenting ahead of the visit, Kathleen Legg, survivor of the Sisters of Charity Laundry said:

This is a great day for me as I’ll be turning 80 this year. All the hard work we did has paid off. I travelled from the UK to be here today. I have been travelling from the UK for the last 4 years. I have battled cancer to be here today. This day is the day to enjoy for all of us. I know there are women unhappy with the proposed scheme but I don’t worry because we will fix that. This day is our day and what a day it will be.

The redress scheme for the women who were in the Magdalene Laundries will see women receiving payments of up to €100,000 depending on the length of their stay. However some of the women have said they are deeply unhappy with the compensation package with those who spent three months or less in the laundries receiving just over €11,000.

Mary Smyth, survivor of The Good Shepherd Magdalene Laundry said the group is “just getting started”.

“There’s a monument to be built and a memorial and museum to be designed,” she added. “The story of the Magdalene women will live on forever.”

Read: Magdalene group seeks meeting with Shatter over ‘deeply unfair’ redress scheme>
Read: Magdalene survivor group ‘not happy at all’ with redress package>

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