Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Report on State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries

The report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries issued earlier this afternoon. You can read it in full on the Department of Justice website here). The mandate of the Inter-Departmental Committee was to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries. There's a brief section in the executive summary that sums up their findings quite neatly, I think:

Five principal areas of possible State involvement were examined by the Committee, namely: 
A. Routes by which girls and women entered the Laundries;  
B. Regulation of the workplace and State inspections of the Laundries; 
C. State funding of and  financial assistance to the Laundries (including 
contracts for laundry services); 
D. Routes by which girls and women left the Laundries; 
E. Death registration, burials and exhumations. 
In each of these areas, the Committee found evidence of direct State involvement.    

So now, no doubt, the hand-wringing, the finger pointing, and the buck-passing will begin. They should just spare us all and:
1. Say sorry;
2. Pay the women or their heirs meaningful compensation;
3. Take real steps to make sure that this kind of thing never happens again.

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