Justice for Magdalenes announce end of political campaign

Women working in the a Magdalene Laundry in the 1940s

The advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) has announced the end of their political campaign.

The group, who represent survivors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, said it had achieved its twin objectives of an official State apology and the establishment of a compensation scheme.

In a statement JFM said it had contacted all survivors and relatives to inform them of their decision.

“JFM believes it has achieved all that it can by way of political advocacy. The responsibility to ensure that justice is delivered to survivors of the Laundries now rests with all members of Irish society, including Church, State, families and local communities,” the group said.

In March the group published two self-help guides, one for survivors and one for family members.

In February Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny apologized unreservedly on behalf of the State to the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.

In an emotional speech which lasted almost twenty minutes, the Taoiseach said: "This is a national shame for which I say again I am deeply sorry and offer my full and heartfelt apologies."

The Government appointed Law Reform Commission President Judge John Quirke to undertake a review to assess how the compensation could be provided.

The apology came after the McAleese report found that the State facilitated the referral of at least 26.5  percent of women to the laundries. More than 10,000 women and girls entered the 10 laundries between 1922 and 1996.

The Taoiseach described the women as wholly blameless.

Josephine Meade, a member of the group Magdalene Survivors Together expressed disappointment at the decision of the JFM to disband.

She told RTE, "While I understand the decision of Justice for Magdalene, I feel a bit let down.

"It’s not right that this group comes out and states this. It makes it sound like they achieved everything for the Magdalene women and that is not true."

COMMENTS