Daly & Collins on Magdalene laundries

While this statement by Clare & Joan is good as far as it goes I can’t help but notice the difference between this and their recent statement on abortion rights.

That is in terms of going beyond the immediate situation being discussed in the Dail. On abortion rights they said “We support access to abortion on all of these grounds and will be campaigning for the repeal of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution and the introduction of free, safe, legal abortion in Ireland.” This correctly argues for what is actually required beyond the limited circumstances of the X-Case legislation.
In the case of the Magdalene laundries surely the thing for socialists to call for, in similar terms of what is really required, is for separation of church and state.

Joan Collins TD, Clare Daly TD

Statement – 5 February 2013 – immediate release

Apology and compensation for Magdalene women

Religious orders and state must pay back-wages and compensation

Joan Collins TD and Clare Daly TD today called for all women who worked in Magdalene Laundries or similar religious institutions to get apologies and compensation.

Joan Collins TD said:

“Members of the government have know for some time about the Magdalene laundries. So the statements by Enda Kenny and Alan Shatter today are not enough: they are not the full apology that is necessary. There must be a full official apology from the Irish state and Catholic Church and it must come now. A distinct compensation scheme for all Magdalene survivors must be put in place immediately.

There must be a transparent and non-adversarial compensation process for all, with pensions, lost wages, health and housing services and redress accounted for. These women worked for nothing for years – it’s time to pay them what they are owed.”

Clare Daly TD said:

There needs to be further enquiry into other religious-run institutions – irrespective of whatever title they had – where women had similar treatment to the Magdalene laundries. Only today, after years of denial, the religious orders admitted that Stanhope Street in Dublin and Summerhill in Wexford were in fact laundries.

There must be no further cover-ups. Alan Shatter must demand the records of the religious orders and ensure that women who worked in other institutions like the Magdalene laundries also receive apologies and compensation.

The religious orders must bear the majority of the cost of back-pay and compensation to these women. It is not credible that the laundries – which operated at a commercial level – were not making a profit from the free labour they had. The state must now make sure the orders pay what they owe to the women they exploited.”


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