TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has accused Fianna Fáil of showing "scant respect" for tabling a private motion calling for a State apology for the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries which is due to be debated this evening.
Speaking during Leaders Questions in the Dail Mr Kenny said: "I would've thought that having given a clear signal of what we'd like to do here and that a political motion, put it this way, shows scant respect for the authors of this report and less respect for the persons whom it is about," he said.
The Taoiseach, who held a three-hour meeting with four Magdalene survivors in Government Buildings yesterday, said the motion was ill-timed. "And I would've thought that everybody in the Oireachtas of all parties and none would reflect on what is the best thing to do here, and I hope in the course of the next few days and as we formulate a response to the Dail debate which will be held next week on the McAleese Report, that we can do that."
The government has come under fire for the past week over their slow official response to the publication of the 1,000-page report into State involvement in the Magdalene Laundries. A two-day debate is scheduled to take place in the Dail next week, with expectations that a formal State apology will be offered at this stage. The Taoiseach said he hoped that the issue would be treated with "sensitivity and respect" during the two-day debate. "We want to bring a conclusion to this with some degree of fairness".