Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Justice and Equality

Magdalen Laundries

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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259. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 436 of 6 November 2018 and 127 of 24 January 2019, the status of an application by a person (details supplied) to the Magdalen restorative justice ex gratia scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9519/19]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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In my responses to previous Dáil questions in relation to this application (Dáil Question No. 436 of 6 November, 2018 and Dáil Question No. 127 of 24 January, 2019) I explained that this application comes under the 2018 Addendum to the terms of the 2013 Magdalen Restorative JusticeEx Gratia Scheme.

That Addendum applies the scheme to persons who were resident in one of 14 adjoining institutions and who worked in the laundries of one of the 12 'Magdalen' institutions. The calculation of redress awards under the Addendum is different from the original scheme. The Addendum provides that the lump sum payment comprises two elements: a 'general' payment for the period of residency in the adjoining institution and a 'work' payment for the period of time the applicant worked in the laundry of the 'Magdalen' institution.

Applications to the Scheme covered by the Addendum are being processed and payments have issued to a number of successful applicants. In processing an application and making a provisional assessment, it is necessary to determine what records are available from the institutions concerned and from other sources. Where there is insufficient or conflicting documentation available, an interview with an applicant may be necessary. This would solely be for her benefit, its purpose being to facilitate a fair assessment of her claim. It is important that each case is assessed on its own merits and the process to ensure a fair assessment will vary from case to case.

I cannot comment on individual cases, other than to say that the application referred to by the Deputy is being processed. Further details have been requested from the relevant religious congregation and these are expected shortly. It is the intention of my Department that this and other applications under the Scheme will be finalised as soon as possible. The applicant and her legal advisers will, of course, be kept apprised of the progress of her claim.

By way of general information, to date just over €27.2million has been paid to 720 women under the Magdalen Restorative Justice Ex Gratia Scheme.


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