Saturday, April 6, 2013

Unfinished Business: The Magdalen Laundering

The continuation of justice 'in action' for Magdalen women and their families. 

Policies of appeasement are a continuation of injustice.  These are the actions that now need to be addressed.  Actions speak louder than words.  Here are the actions.  



1. Does the government intend to advertise the existence of the Magdalen Fund/Commission, as well as the requirement that women register with the Commission, in media outlets at home and abroad? Given the lessons learned from the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB), where applicants living abroad came forward after the deadline claiming that they were ne ver informed about the Scheme, will the Government commit to placing advertisements in national and local newspapers in Ireland as well as Irish Diaspora newspapers in the UK, US, Canada and Australia so that those not affiliated to groups have an equal chance to gain entitlements as survivors of abuse in the Magdalen Laundries? In this year of "The Gathering," will the government do everything in its power to reach out to survivors living abroad and empower them to avail of the Magdalen Fund?


2. What are the consequences of a survivor not registering with the Magdalen Fund/Commission during the three months of Mr Justice Quirke’s review? Will she be excluded from further engaging with the process?


3. Will the Magdalen Fund/Commission be placed on a statutory footing with independent statutory powers?


4. What measures are being taken to ensure that the Magdalen Fund/Commission is a transparent process?


5. Will the Magdalen Fund/Commission have an appeals process?


6. Will there be independent monitoring of the Magdalen Fund/Commission?


7. Will the government make available to survivors and their families free independent advice and advocacy assistance in relation to this scheme?


8 Will Mr Justice Quirke be commissioned to implement the process that he recommends after the three month review period?


9. Will the government establish a dedicated helpline for Magdalene survivors?


10. What measures are being put in place to enable women in institutionalised settings to engage with the Magdalen Fund/Commission? Will a guardian ad litem or independent advocate be provided in all such cases as a way to further guarantee their rights?


11. Given that a 2010 HIQA inspection of one such setting found that “some institutional practices were observed which require to be reviewed, these include empowering residents to make decisions and choices in their daily lives, reviewing forms of address used and ensuring the confidentiality of residents’ information", what plans are in place to ensure permanent advocacy for women in institutionalised settings in their places of residence?


Source: HIQA Reports:


12. Will the Department of Justice put in place measures to assist family members of deceased Magdalene women in engaging with the process?


13.   What steps are being taken to ensure that Magdalene grave records are accurate and up to    date?


14. What steps are being taken to ensure that there is access to Magdalene graves?


15. What steps are being taken to ensure the upkeep of Magdalene graves?


16. Will the Department of Justice ensure that copies of the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee are provided to survivors with no internet access, including survivors who provided testimony to the Committee but are yet to receive the Report?


Questions compiled by Claire Mc Gettrick/James SMith/Maeve O Rourke/Mari T.Steed/Katherine O Donnell and others....


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