Religious welcome airing of report
The four religious orders who ran the 10 Magdalene laundries covered by the report have welcomed its publication.
The Religious Sisters of Charity offered an unreserved apology to women who were hurt in their institution, while the Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, and the Good Shepherd Sisters expressed regret over their treatment of Magdalene women.
“We apologise unreservedly to any woman who experienced hurt while in our care,” said the Religious Sisters of Charity. “In good faith we provided refuge for women at our Magdalene homes in Donnybrook and Peacock Lane . . . We co-operated fully with Senator McAleese and his committee in the preparation of this report and made available all of our archival material. Each individual woman, if she so requests, will be welcomed and provided with any information we have on file regarding her stay with us.”
The Sisters of Mercy, which operated laundries in Galway and Dún Laoghaire, acknowledged “the limitations of the care which could be provided in these homes”.
“We wish that we could have done more . . . It is regrettable that the Magdalene Homes had to exist at all.”
The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, which ran laundries in Drumcondra and on Seán MacDermott Street, Dublin, acknowledged that many women found themselves in the institutions through no choice of their own.
“It is with deep regret that we acknowledge that there are women who did not experience our refuge as a place of protection and care.”
The Good Shepherd Sisters said: “We were part of the system and . . . regret that women could have experienced hurt and hardship during their time with us.”
The congregation noted in the committees’s report that uncertainty around the nature and duration of time spent at the laundries was hugely upsetting. “In truth most of us were often not privy to this information, however, this should not have happened and we fully understand how wrong and upsetting this must have been.”