‘Based On The Findings Of The McAleese Report’



Martin McAleese with McAleese Inquiry into Magdalene laundries in February 2013

Further to the 2002 indemnity deal signed between then Minister for Education Dr Michael Woods and 18 congregations which capped the congregations’ abuse liability at €128million.

And last week’s Comptroller and Auditor General report which shows the congregations have paid just 13% of the €1.5billion compensation fund for victims of abuse who were residents of religious institutions.

And the McAleese Inquiry into the Magalene laundries which was chaired by Martin McAleese and published on Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

This morning.

In the Irish Examiner.

Conall Ó Fátharta writes:

A religious order that ran two Magdalene Laundries told the Government that its decision not to contribute any money to the redress scheme for survivors was based on the findings of the McAleese Report.

…To date, the four orders that ran Magdalene Laundries — the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Charity — have refused to contribute any money to the redress scheme set up in 2013 to compensate women.

The McAleese committee had no remit to investigate allegations of torture or other criminal offences that occurred in the laundries.

However, the Government in its August 2013 letter to the UN Committee against Torture said that, based on the McAleese committee’s interviewing of 118 ex-residents, “no factual evidence to support allegations of systematic torture or ill-treatment of a criminal nature in these institutions was found”.

Documents released under Freedom of Information show the Government wrote to the orders in February 2013 asking them to formally contribute to the redress fund. It wrote again in January 2014.

All four orders stated they would not contribute any money to the scheme.

Regional leader of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Sr Sheila Murphy responded on three occasions to then justice minister Alan Shatter stating its decision not to contribute was made after examining the findings of the McAleese Report.


On February 7, 2013:

Conor Ryan, in the Irish Examiner, reported:

The four religious orders who established and ran the for-profit laundries have substantial assets and it’s for this reason that the Justice For Magdalenes group (JFM) are arguing that the €296m made in property deals during the boom by these four orders must form part of a redress package. Many of the sites the orders haven’t sold and hold on their balance sheets continue to raise revenue by selling services to the State.

Three of the four orders that ran the laundries have earned €86m from the HSE from services provided on these sites in the past six years up to last year.

Previously: Did Your Nan Leave Money To The Nuns?

Religious orders rebuffed appeal for clerical abuse redress payout (Conall Ó Fátharta, Irish Examiner, March 14, 2017)

Substantial assets, but no more cash for redress (Conor Ryan, Irish Examiner, February 7, 2013)

The Magdalene Report: A Conclusion

14 thoughts on “‘Based On The Findings Of The McAleese Report’

  1. Boj

    This will probably come across as dramatic but is there really no justice in this country? And have another mass or something witty like that…Very rare to see the ‘right thing’ happen in many many stories.

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Boj. To be blunt, NO, there is no justice in this country. Those with power and influence (and money, of course) can do what they like without let or hindrance. We are, in effect, 21st Century serfs. However, those who oppress us are by no means Lords and Ladies – beggars on horseback, more like.

  2. Frilly Keane

    Lets get their names straight – and do a bitta Sunday World makeovers to give these Criminal Organisations a more appropriate title

    Sisters of Mercy far from it, ladies, from now on I will refer to you as
    Unmerciful B1tches

    Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge talk about being fulla yerselves – hope this is acceptable The Malevolence & Malice Legion of Marys

    The Good Shepherd Sisters who clearly looked upon these girls and their babies farmyard animals…. The Herders of Hate & Dogmatists of Intolerance is more like it
    The Sisters of Charity could ye get better than The Embezzlement Sisters of Fraud Larceny and Abuse

  3. bisted

    …Martin always struck me as an honest type but it doesn’t really shock me that he isn’t…he took one for the church but the perfidious sisters have thrown him under a bus…nobody deserves it more than this lackey…

  4. kellma

    What about that au pair that won her court action for underpayment? What if they took a ” class action” (is that just a US thing – too much better call Saul for me maybe) against the laundries as employers for effectively enslaving them and not paying them for their labour? Maybe that is daft…. just thinking… They got Al Capone on tax evasion. Maybe get them on something else…. It is clearly all about the money for them so why not go that way? They seem to be all about being slippery and not facing up to straight truths…

    1. Sheik Yahbouti

      Class actions have never featured in this state. We have preferred to force individuals to risk everything they own, or are likely to own, in order to challenge “the State”. Strange, in my innocence and ignorance, I had always believed that The State was us. Apparently I was incorrect. “The State” is in fact a pile of gougers who despise the ‘citizen’ who appears to be its natural enemy. Who’d a thunk it?

  5. Martin

    Justice is important for all sides on this issue. For example, the records of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge show that many of the women in its refuges stayed for short periods of time. Some were of no fixed abode and stayed when they needed addresses. In other words they were not imprisoned by the nuns, as is sometimes assumed. It is easy to be carried on an uncritical bandwagon, but fairness is crucial. If there were individual cases of torture of any women, then these should be investigated fully. However, to issue a blank apology and set up a redress scheme for all, paid for by the taxpayer is not really the most sensible way of doing things and is hardly based on justice.

Comments are closed.