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.
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