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Long Time Coming

Flanagan calls for Magdalen survivors of 'adjoining institutions' to contact government over redress

Previously, women who had worked in a laundry but not actually lived there had been denied state compensation.

9531 Magdalene laundrie_90521516 A Magdalen Laundry on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Charlie Flanagan has called on survivors of the Magdalen Laundries previously denied compensation to contact his department directly.

Previously, women who had worked in a laundry but who had lived in a so-called ‘adjoining institution’, ie one that wasn’t covered by the original Magdalen Restorative Justice Scheme, were denied redress under that same scheme.

That has now changed in the wake of a report by the Ombudsman Peter Tyndall late last year which was sharply critical of the Department of Justice’s performance with regard to the administration of the redress scheme.

Last month, Flanagan confirmed that 14 new adjoining institutions will now be covered by the scheme.

A press advert will run over the course of this weekend aimed at those who lived in one of the adjoining institutions but worked in one of the 12 laundries covered by the initial scheme, suggesting that they take advantage of the redress now available.

0619 Charlie Flanagan_90548098 Charlie Flanagan Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

“I am happy that we are making good progress in implementing the recommendations of the Ombudsman in his report of November 2017 on the operation of the scheme,” Flanagan said.

This advertisement deals with his recommendation that the scheme be applied to residents of those 14 adjoining institutions who worked in the laundries of the 12 Magdalen institutions concerned. In relation to the other recommendations in the Ombudsman’s report, Senior Counsel Mary O’Toole is in the process of examining the 200 or so cases where an issue may arise on the assessment of the length of stay in an institution.

“She is also reviewing the cases of a small number of women where an approved award has been made but cannot be paid because of capacity issues,” he added.

Thus far 694 applicants have received payments under the restorative justice scheme at a cost of €26.1 million.

Under the scheme, lumps sums ranging in size from €11,500 to €100,000 are payable, together with other benefits including special access to health care, the upgrading of pension entitlements to a full state pension for applicants who have reached retirement age, and payment of a weekly sum of €100 surplus to other state payments to others.

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