Friday 22 November 2019

What is being provided for survivors?

A compensation scheme is to be set up to make payments to them based on their unpaid work in the Magdalene Laundries.

The size of the payments will be determined by the recommendations made by Judge John Quirke, the president of the Law Reform Commission.

He will have to examine what to do in the cases of women who have already got compensation being transferred from an industrial school to a Magdalene Laundry.

He will have to give advice on other state supports required by the Magdalene women, such as medical cards, mental health services and counselling services.

And he will also have to come up with a method of ensuring the compensation payments to British and Irish-based Magdalene survivors do not affect their social welfare payments.

Eligible

All survivors who worked in the Magdalene Laundries without pay will be eligible for compensation – even if they were not sent there by the State.

Those who worked in the Stanhope Street laundry in Dublin will also be included.

Judge Quirke has to ensure the money in the fund is used to help the women – and not spent on legal or administration fees. He is to report to the Government in three months.

But Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald pointed out there are only partial and incomplete records for two of the 10 Magdalene Laundries – Galway and Dun Laoghaire. This may make it more difficult for survivors to prove they were there.

The Government is going to make an initial down payment of €250,000 to the British-based Step by Step Centre for Irish Survivors of Industrial Schools and the laundries.

Irish Independent

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