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Image from a Magdalene Laundry of young girls at work Photo by: Google Images

Pressure mounts on Government to issue formal apology to Magdalene survivors

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Image from a Magdalene Laundry of young girls at work Photo by: Google Images

There is mounting pressure on the Irish leader to issue a full state apology to the thousands of Magdalene Laundries survivors.

A damning report into the State’s involvement in the running of the Magdalene laundries made headlines throughout the world on Tuesday. The report found that an estimated 11,500 women passed through ten institutions between 1922 and 1996. Over a quarter of admissions of women and girls were facilitated by the State.

Read More: Deep anger as Enda Kenny refuses official apology on Magdalene Laundries

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister once again refused to make a full official apology to the survivors, he instead appealed for time to digest the report’s findings.

The Fine Gael leader said the report by former Senator Martin McAleese into the Magdalene Laundries "makes for harrowing reading in many respects."

Responding to calls from Sinn Fein to issue an apology, the Taoiseach pointed out that the opposing party had failed to apologize for IRA atrocities during the Troubles.

"This is not a matter for idle comment or flippant politics. It is of intense seriousness for those involved and for those who have responsibility now," the Taoiseach told the Irish Parliament.

"I want to repeat again my sense of deep sorrow for all those women who went through that regime."

"On behalf of this State, I am absolutely sorry for all that happened in the Magdalene laundries," he said.

Read More: 2,000 Irish children were illegally adopted in US from Magdalene Laundries

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin and Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald were among those who called for the leader to made a full apology to survivors.

Kenny appealed for time to review the 1,000 word report.

Meanwhile the UN Committee against Torture said the victims should be compensated and perpetrators of abuse should be prosecuted.

Felice Gael, the vice-chair of the UN Committee on Torture, told RTE’s Morning Ireland that the Government has an obligation to provide financial redress and justice where possible.
 

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