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Sunday 17 December 2017

Magdalene survivors to share €50m pay-out

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

THE Government is set to announce a multi-million euro compensation fund for the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries today.

The Cabinet yesterday signed off on the proposal to have a compensation fund of between €40m and €50m – with the final figure understood to be in the region of €48m.

It is being set up as a result of Taoiseach Enda Kenny's historic state apology to the women for the ordeal they had suffered.

The Cabinet made its decision after receiving a report drawn up by High Court Judge John Quirke about how best to compensate the survivors.

The report is due to be published by Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch in Government Buildings.

So far, around 770 women have contacted the Government to say they were residents of Magdalene Laundries.

An inquiry, chaired by former senator Martin McAleese, found that the State played a significant role in sending thousands of young women to the institutions.

The Magdalene Survivors Together group has been campaigning for a payment of €20,000 for each year that a woman worked without wages in a Magdalene Laundry – and a lump sum payment of €50,000 each for psychological damage.

There are very little or no records available for two of the 10 Magdalene Laundries which operated in the State between 1922 and 1996.

There is no surviving register of residents for the laundry in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, and only "partial records" for who was resident in the laundry in Galway. Both were operated by the Sisters of Mercy.

Mr Shatter has told survivors that he expects to be able to use other state records – such as court records or industrial school records – to establish that the women were there.

Irish Independent

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