Govt invites Magdalene laundry survivors to apply for fund

From left: Marina Gambold, Mary McManus and Maureen Sullivan outside Leinster House after the taoiseach's apology last night. Picture: Photocall

The Government is today inviting women who were in the Magdalene laundries to contact them with expressions of interest in a special fund set to help them.

It follows the historic and emotional apology delivered by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil last night.

Mr Kenny announced the redress scheme last night as part of the State apology to the Magdalene women.

Mr Justice John Quirke has been appointed by the Government to structure the scheme. He has been given three months to submit a report on how to proceed

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the Government was determined to ensure the fund would not be used to pay lawyers' fees, with monies going solely to benefit the women.

He also acknowledged that there were many women who would never hear the apology, nor have access to payments.

"The greater number of women who worked in the laundries are, sadly, no longer with us," he said.

"There are other women too who never want to tell anyone of their time in the laundries. That of course is their right but I hope that they too, if only privately, can take some comfort from this day of acknowledgement."

People can contact the Department of Justice by writing to:

Magdalen Laundry Fund,

C/O Department of Justice and Equality,

Montague Court,

Montague Street,

Dublin 2

Tel: 01 4768649


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