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Magdalene survivors still 'distressed and confused' over claiming redress

JFM Research has published a supplementary guide for women experiencing issues claiming restorative justice.

The site of the former Magdalene Laundry on Sean MacDermott Street in Dublin.
The site of the former Magdalene Laundry on Sean MacDermott Street in Dublin.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

ON THE ONE-year anniversary of the State apology to the Magdalene survivors, a group says that many of the women are still confused about claiming redress.

Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFM Research) published a Supplementary Survivor Guide to the Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme today.

It initially published a guide to the Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme in July 2013, after some survivors said they found it hard to understand their entitlements under it.

But today, it said that “unfortunately, some survivors have continued to express confusion and distress in navigating the Scheme”.

They have now published a supplementary guide in response to ongoing concerns over the scheme.

Payments

In a piece in today’s Irish Examiner, JFM Research said that just 30 per cent of the 684 applicants to the scheme had received lump sum payments.

They also called on Justice Minister Alan Shatter to clarify for Magdalene survivors living abroad that they will not be excluded from healthcare.

They pointed out that the scheme and helpline should, in their view, be advertised widely at home and abroad, particularly given that most survivors don’t have internet access.

This guide includes a breakdown of the Terms of the Scheme and sample letters “is to provide information in an unbiased manner to enable survivors to make their own decisions about participating in the Scheme”, says JFM Research.

Since October 2011, JFM Research has been calling for a dedicated unit and helpline for Magdalene survivors. “Mr Justice Quirke included these measures in his recommendations,2 they said.

To-date, no dedicated unit and helpline have been put in place. JFM Research hopes that this supplementary guide and our previous publications will be of assistance in the meantime.

The supplementary guide is available to download from the JFM Research website.

Read: Women ‘yet to receive a penny’ on anniversary of apology to Magdalene survivors>

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