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Marina Gambold (left) and Maureen Sullivan (right) with Stephen O'Riordan (centre) from the Magdalenes Survivors Together group after yesterday's meeting. Sasko Lazarov/Photocallireland

Magdalenes 'absolutely delighted' after meeting with Kenny and Gilmore

The head of the Magdalene Survivors Together group said that they were now confident of a formal apology.

THE HEAD OF the Magdalene Survivors Together (MST) group has called yesterday’s meeting with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore “hugely significant”.

Speaking to, Stephen O’Riordan said that the women who met were “absolutely delighted”, both at the meeting and at its length.

“We are delighted that they took the time,” he said. “No-one could have expected three hours.”

Now confident of a formal apology next week, O’Riordan said that he didn’t believe that the report by Senator McAleese had conveyed the significance of the survivor’s stories and that the meeting had changed this.

“I don’t think he [Kenny] himself had realised just what had happened,” he said. “He ultimately wanted to meet them to hear their stories, to look at the whites of their eyes, and to understand what happened to them.”

While compensation had been discussed, the women who met yesterday had “stressed that it was the state apology that they wanted first” and that other discussions should then follow:

The women do expect to be compensated for the work that they did within the laundries.

Read: Apology is ‘fundamentally important’ as Magdalenes meet Taoiseach today >

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