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Magdalene Laundries

Nuns say they will participate in any Magdalene inquiry

The Minister for Justice is expected to act on the recent findings of a UN committee regarding the institutions within the the next two weeks.

THE FOUR CONGREGATIONS of nuns who ran the country’s notorious Magdalene laundries have said they are willing to participate in any inquiry into what went on at the institutions.

The nuns said they were willing to participate in any inquiry that will bring greater clarity, understanding, healing, and justice in the interests of all the women involved, reports RTÉ.

It follows last Monday’s findings by the UN Committee against Torture (UNCAT) that recommended an independent inquiry should be conducted.

The committee expressed grave concerns “at the failure of the State to protect girls and women who were involuntarily confined between 1922 and 1996 in the Magdalene Laundries”.

The four congregations – the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Religious Sisters Charity, the Sisters of Mercy and the Good Shepherd Sisters – said that the issue was a “sad, complex and dark story of Irish society that extends over 150 years.”

poll for found that over three-quarters of voters believed that a full inquiry and criminal investigation into what went on in the institutions should be undertaken by the State.

The Justice for Magdalenes campaign is seeking a formal apology and immediate action on the recommendations of the UN report.

The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is expected to bring his recommendations on what should be done to the government within the next two weeks.

The Department of Justice previously told UNCAT that the vast majority of women who entered the Magdalene Laundries did so voluntarily or with consent.

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