Written answers

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Department of Justice and Equality

Magdalen Laundries Issues

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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512. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on the Magdalene Laundries Restorative Justice Scheme to include the number of women who have applied to the Fund; the number of the applicants that have received a payment, medical card, pension payment and or additional supports as provided by the Magdalene Commission Report; and can if he will confirm that the Irish Women’s Survivors Network has received the payment of €250,000 payment as announced earlier this year. [41104/13]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy is aware, on the 25th June 2013 the Government approved the immediate implementation of a cash lump sum payments scheme based on duration of stay in laundries recommended by Judge Quirke and tasked an Interdepartmental Group with giving further detailed consideration to the steps necessary to implement the other recommendations. some of which are complicated and will require legislation. I have already established a special unit to process applications and to determine whether an applicant resided and worked in an institution covered by the scheme, the duration of their stay, and the calculation of the capital sum due to be paid to them. Over 540 applications have been received to date and are being processed.

Payments cannot commence until decisions have been made on the other recommendations. I expect to receive the report of the Interdepartmental Group within the next week and I will then bring the matter back before the Government for final decision. I would expect that the first offers of payments of a lump sum to issue within 4-6 weeks of the Government decision.

Officials in my Department are in contact with the Irish Women Survivors Support Network in the UK and it is expected that the payment of €250,000 may be made shortly.

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