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Magdalenes hope recent events don't leave them in the dark

The Magdalene Survivors Together group are still hopeful of a meeting with the Taoiseach, saying that there are still some big questions to be answered.

The grill out through which new people admitted would be first seen on the door of the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin's north inner city.
The grill out through which new people admitted would be first seen on the door of the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin's north inner city.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE HEAD OF the Magdalene Survivors Together group remains hopeful of a meeting with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in spite of the events of the last 24 hours.

“Just because something like this happens, doesn’t mean that those who suffered in the laundries should be forgotten about,” Stephen O’Riordan told TheJournal.ie.

With less than than two weeks before the Dáil debates the report, O’Riordan hopes that the Taoiseach “will appreciate the importance” of the stories that need to be told and meet with the survivors.

As the days pass and as O’Riordan reads more of the report, the number of questions he has is mounting.

“Senator McAleese has done what was asked of him [regarding the report], but when you look at the meat on the bone, there are some big questions that still need to be answered,” he said.

One such question that O’Riordan has relates to the number of people who were said to have died in the laundries – 879.

“I’ve gone around to the individual graves and counted all the headstones and there were over 1,000,” he said.

I also have an issue with some of the wording. The report says that some women entered the laundries ‘voluntarily’, but you have to remember the power that religion had over people back then. No one entered voluntarily.

Read: Magdalenes ask Enda Kenny to meet with them >

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Paul Hyland

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