News & Events

Parliamentary Questions – 10th October 2017

Below are questions asked in the Oireachtas, relating to Caranua and other areas relevant to survivors

Magdalen Laundries

Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills if additional persons have been added to the list since Caranua was established over and above those identified in the Quirke report; if so, the number; the criteria used; the years in which this occurred; if new persons were included; if resources were provided to cover this; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I think the Deputy may be referring to the Magdalen Laundries Restorative Justice Ex Gratia Scheme which was set up by the Department of Justice and Equality following the publication of the report in February, 2013 of an Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of the State’s involvement with the Magdalen Laundries. It was chaired by then Senator Martin McAleese and it is commonly referred to as the McAleese report. The material in the Report relates to 10 different institutions which were run by 4 different Orders of nuns over a period of 70 years. Although there was no finding in the McAleese Report which indicated that the State had any liability in the matter, following the report’s publication the Taoiseach issued a State apology to the women.

Mr. Justice Quirke was subsequently asked by the Government to make recommendations on an appropriate redress scheme for those who were in the 10 Magdalen laundries that were the subject of the McAleese Report. The Government also included in the scheme the laundry that was attached to Stanhope Street Training School and later also decided to include a 12th institution, the Training School in Summerhill.

The Scheme provides for lump sum payments varying from €11,500 to €100,000 depending on the length of stay in the institution concerned. Further, each woman is entitled to a top-up payment to bring her weekly income from the Irish State up to the equivalent of the Irish Contributory Pension. The Scheme is administered by the Department of Justice and Equality.

Caranua was established under the 2012 Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act to manage €110 million pledged by religious congregations to enhance the lives of survivors who had suffered abuse as children in Institutions listed in schedules to the 2002 Residential Institutions Redress Act where the State was acting in loco parentis. To be eligible to apply to Caranua, a person must have received an award through settlement, Court or the Residential Institutions Redress Board in relation to time spent in one of these institutions. The Magdalen laundries are not included.