Wednesday 20 September 2017

Government told to set up reconciliation forum for Magdalene survivors

The exterior of the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin's north inner city
The exterior of the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin's north inner city

Gareth Naughton

THE Government is considering a recommendation that it should establish a reconciliation forum for the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and the religious orders who ran them, according to reports.

It is believed that Mr Justice John Quirke, a retired High Court judge, has advised the Government to set up the forum to facilitate the healing process for survivors. The forum would be run on a confidential, voluntary and neutral basis and would not assign blame to any party involved.

According to an RTE report, Mr Justice Quirke has also recommended that mediation be included in the dispute resolution mechanism for the proposed compensation scheme.

The Department of Justice is currently considering his proposals and is expected to publish the full report shortly.

Mr Justice Quirke was appointed to consider an appropriate mechanism for compensating the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries earlier this year after Taoiseach Enda Kenny issued an emotional apology to the women. He was expected to report back within three months with a set of proposals for the scheme.

The McAleese report released earlier this year found that around 10,000 women were housed in the Magdalene Laundries between 1922 until the final institution closed in the 1990s. The majority of the women died before the state apology was issued.

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