Thursday 14 December 2017

Lynch considered stepping down over delay in Magdalene Laundry apology

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

JUNIOR Minister Kathleen Lynch has revealed that she considered resigning over the lack of a speedy apology for the Magdalene Laundry survivors.

Ms Lynch was grilled on RTE's 'Prime Time' about the lack of an apology, by a Magdalene Laundry survivor, by a campaign group and by host Miriam O'Callaghan.

But she stayed on as Junior Minister for Mental Health and Equality to ensure that she was involved in Taoiseach Enda Kenny's delivery of the apology two weeks later. "I could have walked away but I just felt 'No, I think there is another way to skin this hare'," she said.

At the time, she said there was no guarantee of an apology.

But she said she had used her uncomfortable experience on 'Prime Time' to ensure that the apology was forthcoming.

"I don't take no for an answer. I think my embarrassment and discomfort that night, I used very well after that," she said.

Ms Lynch signalled that although the recommendations on a compensation package for Magdalene survivors would be made by Mr Justice John Quirke, the Government would not be able to afford a bill of €100m to €200m.

"If money is the only compensation, we couldn't possibly afford to give everybody what they expect. But I think it should be a combination of what their needs are, and, of course, compensation," she said.

Irish Independent

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