Survivors of Catholic run workhouses in Ireland are awaiting an apology today, when an Inter-Departmental Committee report is published into the State’s involvement in their detention and exploitation.
Sensitive information contained in the investigation report into the State’s involvement in Magdalene laundries will not be contained in the report, which is due to be published online at 4pm on Tuesday.
The Irish Times reports that ‘appropriate safeguards’ were implemented to ensure “the sensitivity and confidentiality of the records.”
The report said, “in no case would such sensitive personal data be published or made available to the public without the consent of the data subject.”
Numerous survivor groups of the Magdalene Laundries are to be briefed about the findings of the report on Tuesday morning.
A committee chaired by Senator Martin McAleese began working on the report in July 2011 to establish the State’s interaction with the10 Magdalene laundries in Ireland between 1922 and 1996.
Dr James Smith, of the Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) group told IrishCentral the victims of the laundries have spent decades waiting for justice.
“As important as the report is, it not as important as the Government's actions following it,” Smith, an Associate Professor of English at Boston College, told IrishCentral.
“These women were denied their identity, some had their hair cut, they had to wear institutionalized garments, they were forced to pray, work, and sometimes live in enforced silence. They did not have a choice about coming and going.
“They lost years of their life, educational opportunities, and in some case the opportunity to marry and have a family.”
Smith, who has spent years researching the Magdalene laundries and authored the book “Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment’ say survivors are hopeful the Government will admit their fault.
“They are a generation of Irish women, in their seventies and eighties, some married with children and even grandchildren that are waiting for an apology.”
Smith concluded: “The government has to do something on Tuesday, the wait must end.”
Irish Examiner Reporter Conall Ó Fátharta at the grave's of some of the Magdalene Women at St. Mary's Good Shepherd Convent, Sunday's Well, Cork