An apology goes “an awful long way towards healing” and the women who were in the Magdalene Laundries “deserve and should get” such an apology.
This is the view of Fine Gael Galway senator Fidelma Healy Eames who was commenting on the McAleese Report into State involvement in the notorious Magdalene laundries in operation throughout the Republic of Ireland.
The report shows that more than 10,000 women were committed to the institutions, one of which operated in Galway from 1922 to 1984, with more than a quarter of the women being referrals by the State.
Considerable controversy has been generated by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s failure to provide a full and unequivocal apology to the Magdalene survivors.
However Sen Healy Eames is “asking the Government to seriously reflect” on giving those who were in the laundries “an apology so they can have peace of mind and they can heal”.
“What is significant about this report is that all of these victims were women and children,” she said. “It is clear they are still hurting. These women - our women, Irish women - have been in the service and the servitude of this State. That is not something to be proud of. They deserve an apology.”
Sen Healy Eames’ Government colleague, Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan, has also called on Enda Kenny to issue a full apology.