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Here's a quick thread on the Magdalene redress scheme. I have been years writing on this now. Anyway, here goes: Since the scheme was widened - just seven of the 97 women who have applied have received a payment. 14 women have yet to receive an offer over a dispute on dates
The scheme was widened in June 2018 following a scathing Ombudsman report which found the DOJ had wrongly refused some survivors access to redress payments and that the scheme had been maladministered.
Key among the findings was that women who registered on the rolls of training centres located on the same grounds and even in the same building as the laundries were refused.
The Irish Examiner first wrote about this issue as far back as 2015 - HSE uncovered evidence in 2012 that An Grianan training centre and High Park laundry were essentially "one and the same" yet An Grianan women were denied redress. Ombudsman report had same conclusion in 2017
A High Court case in 2017 found these women were denied fair procedures in how the decision to refuse them access to the scheme was reached. Now the Dept has widened the scheme after newspaper revelations, an Ombudsman report and a HC case yet the same issues are arising
14 of the women who were in An Grianan but worked in the laundry have yet to receive an offer of redress as the Order has told the DOJ that no girls were sent to work in the laundry post 1980
On three separate occasions, the legal team for the women has requested information on the evidence given by the order to the Restorative Justice Unit which administers the scheme to support this claim but has been refused it.
One of the key criticisms of the Ombudsman's report was that the DOJ relied on the evidence and sometimes just the word of the Order over that of the women on such matters. Here we are again in that situation, despite the HC accepting that children worked in the laundry post 1980
The women have learned that a potential reason for the 1980 cut-off point is a claim that a separate laundry was constructed at An Grianán 1980 and that no girls were sent to work in the main laundry as a result. Untrue
The Irish Examiner has obtained documents showing this laundry was constructed “in the early months of 1984”, at a cost of £17,001. The Order was partially reimbursed by the Eastern Health Board. So that claim is simply not sustainable.
A group of women have now written directly to justice minister Charlie Flanagan asking him to intervene. They said the information re 1980 coming from the Order is incorrect. "We know because we were there," they say.
It is now six years since Enda Kenny offered a State apology to Magdalene survivors. The Govt has been accused of walking back that apology ever since now claiming, repeatedly, that the McAleese report made “no finding” in relation to state liability with regard to the laundries.
These women should have been granted access to the redress scheme six years ago. And they continue to wait now - in 2019. It should be a bigger story than it is, frankly
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