A PROTEST IS to take place outside the Sisters of Mercy provincial office in Cork this weekend over the Magdalene Laundries.
The event is supported by Cork Feminista, which said it was organised in response to the Sisters of Mercy’s “refusal to acknowledge, or pay for, the many wrongs done to inmates of Magdalene Laundries”.
Over the past weeks the survivors and their supporters have collected over 1,000 signatures calling for the four religious orders that operated the Magdalene Laundries to pay into the government compensation fund for the remaining survivors.
Cork Feminista said that at the protest, the names will be written on large white sheets as a symbolic connection to the laundries.
Pic: Cork Feminista
Cork Feminista Co-Organiser Maureen Considine said the action is to call attention to:
[The Sisters of Mercy's] refusal to recognise, and apologise for, the abusive treatment and enslavement of girls and women is a lost opportunity; to atone for the physical and emotional harm done to the inmates, and, to call out the rest of society for their collusion in the enslavement of these women.
She said that the Sisters of Mercy “could lead the way in terms of restoring the faith of so many who are dismayed at the Catholic Church’s failure to adequately respond to abuses carried out in its name and by its leaders”.
She said that an apology and a commitment to pay into the compensation fund “would be a significant gesture which would contribute to the healing process for the Magdalene Survivors”.
Religious orders who were responsible for the Magdalene Laundries refused in July to contribute financially to a fund set up for survivors.
The orders were the Mercy Sisters, the Sisters of Charity, the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. They told the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter that they would not pay into the fund, which could cost as much as $58 million.
Wondering how religious orders can refuse to pay compensation to Magdalenes? Our Explainer gives you all the information.