Requests to extend mandate denied


The interdepartmental committee did not have the “discretion” to extend its mandate beyond the included 10 Magdalene laundries, it said in its report yesterday.

Submissions were made to the committee arguing for the inclusion of four other institutions: St Mary’s Stanhope Street in Dublin, Summerhill in Wexford, Bethany Home in Rathgar, Dublin and Newtownforbes Industrial School in Co Longford.

‘Matter for Government’

Any extension of the committee’s mandate was a “matter for Government” and requests were passed on to the Minister for Justice for consideration, the committee said. “No additions were subsequently made by the Government,” it said.

The committee “understood the desire” of individuals and groups to draw its attention to other institutions and “heard all such submissions”. It was not able to look at other institutions based on their having attached laundry facilities, it said.

Survivors’ requests

The Magdalene Survivors Together group said Stanhope Street and Summerhill should have been included.

However Stanhope Street operators, the Religious Sisters of Charity, said it was a domestic training centre for girls, not a refuge like the Magdalene laundries. The Sisters of Mercy said their institution at Summerhill was a vocational training school.

Another individual urged the committee to include Newtownforbes Industrial School because it had a laundry where she’d worked as a child. The Bethany Survivors Group requested the inclusion of Bethany Home, a Protestant-run institution.