Press Release

SIPTU calls for compensation for survivors of Magdalene Laundries

Date Released: 05 February 2013

SIPTU has called for the financial compensation of the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and their families for the forced labour these women endured and from which religious orders and other businesses profited.

SIPTU Equality and Campaigns Organiser, Ethel Buckley, said: “The scale of the abuse of women in the Magdalene Laundries can no longer be denied following the publication of the inter-departmental committee report on State involvement with these institutions this afternoon (Tuesday, 5th February).

“The mental anguish these women and their families endured can never be undone. The issue of the social context in which this abuse was allowed to persist, and in many instances supported, by the State is an issue to which Irish society must now face up. SIPTU supports calls for these women to receive adequate compensation for the abuse which they endured as workers condemned to forced labour ”.

She added: “It is clear from the report that certain institutions and businesses, including some state enterprises, profited from the forced extraction of labour from these women. SIPTU supports the call of the support and advocacy groups for the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries for compensation. The Government must now ensure that the institutions responsible, whatever their status, are made to pay for the forced labour of these women.

“It should also not be ignored that there was a clear class dimension to the exploitation and abuse. This report has lessons for Irish society today, as well as helping to expose wrongdoing that was allowed to continue and fester for so long.”


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