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Magadalene laundries report in four weeks: Alan Shatter

Former Magdalene laundry
Image caption The former Magdalene laundry building in New Ross.

The Republic of Ireland's justice minister has said a report on state involvement with Magdalene laundries will be published within four weeks.

The laundries were a network of Catholic-run workhouses that operated in Ireland from the 1920s to the mid-1990s.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter announced that he will receive what he called a 'substantial report' within 10 days.

He will then bring before the government.

An inter-departmental committee chaired by Senator Martin McAleese was set up to establish the facts of the Irish state's involvement with the Magdalene laundries and to produce a narrative detailing such interaction.

Survivors and representative groups, and the religious congregations, co-operated with the departmental committee.

Sinn Fein's deputy leader welcomed the announcement but said that the survivors "urgently need" an apology and redress.

"Survivors of the Magdalene laundries have literally waited their whole lives for a mere acknowledgement of the wrong perpetrated against them by the state and religious orders," said Mary Lou McDonald TD.

"The bottom line is that they should wait no more."

"Fine Gael and Labour ministers spoke fine words of support for the women when in opposition, now they must act on them."

In 2011 the UN Committee Against Torture called on the Irish government to set up an inquiry into the treatment of thousands of women and girls in the laundries.

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