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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 19 May 2021

Poll: Should a statutory inquiry into the Magdalene Laundries be established?

What the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries want first is an apology, and then redress. But do we owe it to ourselves to hold a full inquiry into the State’s role as well?

THE GOVERNMENT is due to issue its response next week to calls by the United Nations for a “prompt, independent and thorough” investigation into what happened to the 30,000 women held in Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries until 1996.

The report also recommended that former residents should be offered redress and have a right to compensation and rehabilitation – and that the perpetrators should be held accountable.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter will bring his recommendations to the government on what should be done “inside a very short time”, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said yesterday.

Speaking on last night’s Prime Time, a spokesperson for Justice for Magdalenes group said a full apology, and the establishment of a trust fund and pension entitlements was what the Magdalene survivors wanted most. But do we have a responsibility to find out what really happened through a full inquiry and criminal prosecutions, even if that means a further delay in compensation and greater expense? What do you think should be done now?

Poll Results:

Full inquiry and criminal investigation (694)
Apology & compensation only (108)
Apology only (68)
Full inquiry (40)

Read the Justice for Magdalenes Group’s submission to the UN >

Read more: Department of Justice claims that the “vast majority” of women entered the Laundries voluntarily >

Watch: last night’s Prime Time report on the Magdalene Laundries >

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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