Seanad debates

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Redress for Women Resident in Certain Residential Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2019: Report and Final Stages


10:30 am

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank Senator Ruane for her contribution. I am happy to engage positively with her to ensure any outstanding issues can be dealt with to the satisfaction of the women who worked in the Magdalen laundries. I do not like the term “Magdalen women” and I do not believe in the circumstances that it is a fair term. I rather prefer to address the issue along the lines of dealing with women who happened to work in Magdalen laundries.

As far as the amendment is concerned, I am not inclined to change my view of last week. The review called for in the amendment extends beyond the scope of this narrow legislation, the purpose of which is to give effect to the Ombudsman's report on dealing with the needs of these women. I am keen that all of these issues be dealt with. Due to the fact that the review encompasses more than is envisaged in legislation, will Senator Ruane withdraw her amendment and not divide the House on it? I am happy to engage with her bilaterally to ensure the issues raised that gave rise to her tabling the amendment might be addressed in this regard.

I note what Senator Ó Donnghaile said. I will give a commitment to examine the issues. However, some of them might be outside the scope of my Ministry. In that might regard, I would be happy to convey any concerns to other Ministers who may have responsibility in that area.

I am not minded to accept the amendment because it does not alter the nature of the legislation, going outside its single purpose. To my mind, it would extend the scope of the legislation in a way that is not intended. I am happy to engage further and ask Senator Ruane for her indulgence in that regard.


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