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Dublin: -1 °C Sunday 19 January, 2020

"Huge traffic" between Magdalene laundries and mother-and-baby homes

Justice for Magadalenes Research said today that the laundries should be included in the government’s statutory investigation.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE MAGDALENE LAUNDRIES should be included in the government’s statutory investigation into mother-and-baby homes, Justice for Magdalenes Research has said.

It welcomed the announcement of the investigation into the abuses in Ireland’s mother and baby homes, and its members “stand in solidarity with all women and children who spent time in these institutions and with their family members”.

It is now calling on the government to include the Magdalene Laundries in the terms of reference of this statutory investigation.

It gave the following reasons:

  • There was huge traffic between mother and baby homes and Magdalene Laundries
  • The McAleese Committee did not retain records received from the religious orders responsible for operating the Magdalene Laundries
  • The McAleese Committee’s terms of reference did not allow it to investigate individual complaints of abuse or examine fully the religious orders’ financial records
  • All religious orders responsible for the Magdalene Laundries have refused to apologise or provide compensation.

JFM’s principal submission to the McAleese Committe, which was based on limited research in State archives, identified 26 cases of children in the Tuam Baby Home between 1953 and 1958 whose mothers were listed as “in the Magdalen”.

It also found an additional 25 women between 1951 and 1968 transferred from Sean Ross Abbey to institutions operated by the Good Shepherd nuns.

“In addition, it was State policy in 1933 that unmarried mothers who had given birth a second time would be transferred to a Magdalene Laundry,” said JFM.

In order to trace the fate of many women and children who spent time in mother and baby homes and to assess the abuse that occurred, the statutory inquiry will need access to records regarding the Magdalene Laundries and will need to investigate the abuse of women in Magdalene Laundries.

Read: ‘Time to shed light on another dark period’: Broad welcome for mother-and-baby investigation>

Read: Bethany Home, where 222 children died, to be included in mother and baby home investigation>

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