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Tuesday 22 October 2019

Oldest Magdalene survivor dies aged 97

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

THE oldest survivor of the Magdalene Laundry institutions has died.

Madge O'Connell (97) was born in January 1916 in the small village of Dromina, in Co Cork. She passed away yesterday.

 

By the age of 34 both of Ms O'Connell's parents had passed away and the local parish priest suggested that she sell her home and farm.

 

Despite being in her mid-30s Ms O'Connell was then placed into the Good Shepherd Convent in Sunday's Well, where she would spend almost the rest of her life.

 

Ms O'Connell had this year begun the process of trying to claim redress for her time in the laundries.

 

She had filled out the Government form requesting expressions of interest for receipt of benefits from the Magdalene Laundry fund.

 

In February, Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to the victims of the religious laundries where women were forced to work effectively as slaves.

 

Survivors group Magdalene Survivors Together has called for Ms O'Connell's claim to be processed and has asked the Minister for Justice to intervene.

 

The group has said that all such claims should be processed.

 

Ms O'Connell's funeral will take place tomorrow in Cork.

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