McAleese silence leaves Enda to handle Magdalene fallout
Amid the noise generated by the publication of the McAleese report on the Magdalene laundries, perhaps the loudest sound of all is the silence emanating from its author.
Martin McAleese, however, had no obligation to stick around after he completed his investigation. None of the authors of the last four reports into abuse – from Ferns through to Cloyne – answered questions either.
We hear the Government would have preferred him to actively engage with the media at the launch, but it was his call and he decided against this.
And so, in the course of that very fraught week for the Cabinet, the Taoiseach and others were left to do all the talking.
It didn’t go well.
A week on, questions are surfacing about the accuracy and rigour of those sections of the non-statutory report which are outside its sole remit, which was to determine State involvement in the Magdalene laundries.
McAleese gave a health warning about this added information – which explored life in the laundries as his team heard it – stressing that their findings were neither definitive nor conclusive.
In the Dáil this week, the Taoiseach again urged people to read the report in its entirety.
He never touched on the reliability or otherwise of the additional observations.
It would have been interesting to hear McAleese’s view.
This weekend, Enda travels to London as he continues to try to repair the damage he has suffered by stopping short of an apology on behalf of the State on the day the report appeared.
This remains a huge bone of contention, for the Labour Party in particular.
Those Coalition colleagues – not to mention the Magdalene laundries women – are expecting big things from Enda when he speaks in next week’s debate.