Minister Flanagan announces decision to apply Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme to adjoining institutions

 

 

2 June 2018

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today announced that the Government has approved his proposals for applying the Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme to adjoining institutions in line with the recommendation of the Ombudsman. The Government has agreed that the Scheme will apply to women who worked in the laundries and who were resident in one of 14 adjoining institutions, including all of those recommended by the Ombudsman. A “general” payment will be made for the entire period of residency and a “work” payment for the period of work in a laundry. Central guidance will also be drawn up on the development and operation of any future redress schemes.

 

The Minister said: “I am pleased to announce that the Government has agreed to my proposal to apply the Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme to women who worked in the laundries and were resident in these adjoining institutions. This is an important step in implementing the key recommendation of the Ombudsman.”

 

And looking forward to the 2 day event taking place in Dublin this week, at which women who spent time in Magdalene laundries will be honoured, the Minister added:  ‘I am looking forward to meeting many of the women who spent time in Magdalene Laundries at the Mansion House this Tuesday. I know the organisers are planning a very warm and dignified gathering and I think it’s going to be a celebration of true resilience.”

 

On 17 April the Minister announced the steps which were being taken in relation to the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations, including the establishment of an interdepartmental group to review the eligibility of cases of women who worked in one of the institutions covered by the Scheme but who were officially recorded as having been admitted to a training centre or industrial school located in the same building, attached to or located on the grounds of one of the Magdalene laundries. This group has now completed its work and the Minister brought proposals to Government which have been approved.

 

The Minister also updated Government on the progress being made in relation to the other two recommendations of the Ombudsman:

 

The Minister added: “Following on the constructive discussions that both myself and the Taoiseach had with the Ombudsman in April, officials in my Department have continued this process of engagement. I am committed to progressing action on the Ombudsman’s recommendations in consultation with his Office, and I will, as necessary, bring further updates and proposals to Government.”

 

ENDS

 

Note to editors

The Government introduced the Magdalene Restorative Justice Ex Gratia Scheme in 2013.  Since then, 692 applicants have been paid just over €26m in lump sum payments. In addition, qualifying applicants receive additional benefits including an enhanced medical card from the HSE and ‘top up’ pension payments from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

 

Payments under the Magdalene Restorative Justice Scheme are calculated based on the overall length of stay of an applicant.  The award is made up of 2 elements: a “general payment” element and a “work” element payment. This Government decision on applying the scheme to the adjoining institutions provides for the payment of the “general payment” of the award for the length of stay in the institution and a “work” element of the award in respect of the period of work in a laundry.  The other benefits of the Scheme - pension-type payments and enhanced medical card - will apply fully.

 

Revised terms of the scheme will be prepared to reflect this Government decision. Expressions of interest will also be invited from any additional eligible women.

 

 

List of 14 adjoining institutions

 

 

St Aidan’s Industrial School, New Ross, Co. Wexford

 

 

St. Dominick’s Industrial School, Waterford

Gracepark Training Centre, Waterford

Mayfield Training Centre, Waterford

 

 

St. Finbarr’s Industrial School, Cork

Marymount Training Centre, Cork

 

 

St. George’s Industrial School, Limerick

St. Joseph’s Reformatory School, Limerick

Rosemount Training Centre, Limerick

 

 

An Grianán Training Centre, High Park, Dublin

St. Joseph’s Industrial School, High Park, Dublin

Martanna House Hostel, High Park, Dublin

 

 

St. Anne’s Hostel, Sean McDermott Street, Dublin

 

 

St. Michael’s Industrial School, Summerhill, Wexford