Free health services for former residents of Magdalene laundries in Bill

Only minority of women single parents, says Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: Introduced the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, providing free health services for former residents

Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin: Introduced the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, providing free health services for former residents

 

There was a mistaken public perception that women referred to the Magdalene laundries were mainly lone parents, Minister of State for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin told the Seanad.

“This perception does not reflect the reality in most cases,’’ he said.

He said the McAleese report found placements of girls or women in the laundries were made for a very wide range of reasons.

“It is hard to credit nowadays that some cases of referrals were seen as a means of providing for girls or women with physical disabilities, or with mental or psychiatric illness,’’ Mr Ó Ríordáin added.

“Some had intellectual disabilities and special needs, while others were referred because of advanced age.’’

He said in other cases, they were placed in laundries by their families following family disputes, or as a result of abuse or neglect in the home. Only in a minority of cases were they rejected by their families for having a child, he added.

Mr Ó Ríordáin was introducing the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, providing free health services for former residents of Magdalene laundries and similar institutions. The Bill was welcomed by all sides of the House.

He said the case studies in the report provided very sad and harrowing accounts of a very traumatic time in the lives of those girls and women.

He said the Bill was just one part of a wider package of supports.