SIPTU to join compensation fight for Magdalene laundries women

A plaque in St Stephen's Green dedicated to Magdalene laundry survivors. Picture: PA

SIPTU is planning to unite with advocacy groups representing survivors of the Magdalene laundries in their fight for compensation.

It follows yesterday's publication of the report which revealed significant state involvement in the Church-run laundries.

According to the findings, the state referred 2,124 of the 8,025 girls and women referred into the laundries since 1922 for whom the reasons for referral are known. The report said 10,012 girls and women spent time in the laundries.

SIPTU's Equality and Campaigns Organiser Eithel Buckley said it was time now for a united front.

"SIPTU will join with other advocacy groups on behalf of the survivors to call for adequate financial compensation for the wages they were denied as they were forced to labour in the laundries and for adequate pension provision so they can live out the rest of their days in some bit of decency," she said.

Key numbers from the report

- Number of women who spent time in the laundries since 1922: 10,012 (excludes two Sisters of Mercy laundries)

- In the 8,025 cases where it is known who referred the women, the state referred 2,124 of them

- There were 879 deaths in the laundries from 1922. The youngest to die was 15; the oldest was 95.

- The average entry age of women in the #Magdalen laundries was 23.8 yrs. The youngest to enter was nine years old; the oldest 89.

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