Magdalene laundries: Irish government to debate report

Members of the Magdalene Survivors Together campaign group hold copies of the report Members of the Magdalene Survivors Together campaign group hold copies of the report

Related Stories

A report into the Magdalene laundries is due to be debated in the Irish parliament later on Tuesday.

The laundries were Catholic workhouses run by nuns in Ireland, where thousands of young women worked behind locked doors without pay.

Many who worked in the laundries claim it was slave labour and want a state apology and compensation.

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny is expected to make that apology on behalf of the state during the debate.

It is believed that move could open the way for the women involved to seek redress or compensation.

Government contracts

The 1000-page report into the running of the laundries, written by the former senator, Martin McAleese, was published earlier this month.

It concluded that about 10,000 women passed through the laundries in the Irish Republic between 1922 and 1996.

Over 2,000 were sent there by the state authorities, and many Irish institutions, such as the army and some government departments, had contracts with the laundries.

The McAleese report found that some women were incarcerated for crimes as minor as not paying for a train ticket.

On the day of publication, Mr Kenny expressed regret for the or the stigma and conditions suffered by women who were inmates in the laundries, but he stopped short of a formal government apology.

Campaigners criticised his response and pressed for a state apology.

In the two weeks since, Mr Kenny has held face-to-face meetings with some of those who worked in the laundries.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Baby in boxStrange case

    The remarkable appeal of the Finnish baby boxes


  • WW1 gas mask being demonstratedTrench terror

    Did the soldiers of WW1 have an irrational fear of poison gas?


  • Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention 7 November 2012Aura of a loser?

    Mitt Romney looked presidential but could never pull it off


  • A woman holds up a feminist sign.PC virus

    Is liberal speech policing out of control?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ReadingBest books

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten books you should read in February

Programmes

  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.