Amnesty welcomes Taoiseach's Magdalene apology

19 February 2013

Amnesty International Ireland tonight welcomed the apology from the Taoiseach to the women detained in the Magdalene Laundries, and his commitment to include all of the women condemned to the laundries in the Government’s response.

Colm O'Gorman of Amnesty International IrelandColm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said: “The Taoiseach’s unreserved apology tonight is very welcome. It has taken far too long for us to get to this point, but finally the women who were abused in the Magdalene Laundries have a formal apology from the Irish State for the horrific way they were treated.

“Successive governments have tried to duck and deny their responsibility for what happened to these women and children, but the Taoiseach ended that tonight.


“The Taoiseach’s commitment that all the women will be treated the same regardless of who sent them to the laundries is very positive. We look forward to seeing the detail of the fund announced this evening.

“We hope it indicates the Government accepts that the State is ultimately responsible for what happened to every single woman condemned to the laundries. This includes cases where the authorities were not directly involved in placing the women there.

“The redress scheme must be based on this. This next step must be acknowledged as reparation for state failures that is these women's right, and not as some act of benevolence by this Government."