Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has welcomed reports that the Taoiseach has changed his position on the State’s response to the McAleese report on the Magdalene Laundries.
Deputy Collins was speaking as the Dáil prepares to debate a Fianna Fáil motion calling for a full and unqualified apology to the Magdalene women, and for the establishment of a dedicated unit within the Department of Justice to handle the State’s response including all forms of redress.
“I welcome indications that the Taoiseach will now recognise the need for a full and unqualified apology for the Magdalene women. I am hopeful that having met with one of the groups representing the Magdalene women, we will now see the kind of response from the Government that we should have seen last week,” said Deputy Collins.
“The women of the Magdalene Laundries and their families have waited far too long for official recognition of their suffering and for an apology from the State for what they went through. While the Government may wish to wait until next week to actually deliver the apology, it is my hope that the Taoiseach will take the opportunity to tonight to confirm that the reports of his change of mind are correct. Doing this would allow Magdalene survivors who wish to do so make arrangements to be in Dáil Éireann for the apology when it finally comes.
“The motion this week focusses not just on the need for a full apology, but also on the need for a thorough and coordinated response from the State to the McAleese report. Fianna Fáil is proposing the immediate establishment of a dedicated unit within the Department of Justice to handle all forms of redress for the Magdalene survivors.
“This motion gives all members of the Dáil the opportunity to put politics aside, unite in our response to the suffering of these women and ensure that they get the co-ordinated and seamless support that they deserve,” Deputy Collins said.