14 May 2011

Irish bishops withhold over 200 abuse cases from its own child protection board and impede national audit of clergy crimes

The Independent   -   Ireland    May 12, 2011

Fury as church withholds abuse complaints from own watchdog

By John Cooney, Indpendent Religion Correspondent

THE Government is under intense pressure from outraged victims of clerical child abuse to order an immediate national probe of all 26 Catholic Church dioceses as well as religious and missionary orders.

The renewed calls for the State to subject the entire Catholic Church to a statutory investigation followed revelations yesterday that church authorities withheld a staggering 219 abuse complaints from its own independent watchdog.

The National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) revealed that its final checks found that from April 1, 2010, until March 31, 2011, the actual number of complaints about sexual, physical or emotional abuse totalled 272.

The board, which in December 2009 was instructed by the bishops to conduct a comprehensive national audit of clerical child abuse, was initially told of only 53 new allegations.

In a further development, it was also revealed that the bishops and religious leaders later placed legal obstacles to impede the board from conducting its audit, which was widely expected to reveal the actual horrendous scale of clerical paedophilia in Ireland.

Dioceses and congregations claimed that data protection concerns prevented their participating in the audit, a position they have now modified. They have now agreed to cooperate with the board under strict confidentiality until its findings are eventually published.

Board chairmen John Morgan and chief executive Ian Elliott told a news conference yesterday that they would not be resigning "in the interest of children". Walking away does not solve the problem, they said.

But they admitted that their remit of compiling a national audit of all 26 dioceses had been delayed because of "legal difficulties" posed by bishops and religious orders, and that it was difficult to break down "a culture of clericalism".

As part of a confidential compromise agreement the board has begun an audit of three unnamed dioceses, but the process will take longer than first expected.


Last night the head of the One in Four victims' support group claimed that Mr Elliott's team was "clearly being impeded by forces within the church in their monitoring", and accused the church of consistently failing to reveal the full story of child sexual abuse until it was forced to do so.

Chief executive Maeve Lewis called on the Fine Gael-Labour Government to extend the work of the Murphy Commission of Investigation to the entire church in Ireland.

"Perhaps we need to expand the Murphy Commission's work to every diocese and congregation in the country if we are ever to appreciate the full extent of clerical sexual abuse," Ms Lewis said.

In November 2009 the Murphy report highlighted the horrific scale of abuse and cover-ups in the archdiocese of Dublin, which led to the church mandating its own board into conducting an internal national probe.

The Murphy Commission's remit was extended to the Cork diocese of Cloyne after Mr Elliott found that the then bishop, John Magee, had failed to implement national guidelines and had put children at risk of being abused.

Publication of the Cloyne report, which was expected before Easter, is still being delayed by legal difficulties relating to one cleric who faces a criminal trial this summer.

Last night an angry victim of abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin, Andrew Madden, called for Children's Minister Frances FitzGerald to introduce legislation to put the Children First Guidelines on a statutory basis as a matter of absolute urgency.

Earlier, at a news conference in a Dublin city-centre hotel, Mr Elliott said that this year's figure of 272 allegations was an increase on last year's number of 197.

The vast majority of these cases are historic in nature and a precise breakdown was not currently available, he said.

Of the 272 allegations, 166 were against religious orders and 106 against priests in dioceses.

A total of 86 related to dead clerics or religious; 12 who are still in ministry and 174 who had been or were removed from ministry, retired or have left the clerical state through a process of laicisation.

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PressTV  -  Ireland   May 16, 2011

Irish priests' child abuse ups by 38%

The number of allegations of child abuse at the hands of priests in the Irish Catholic Church has increased by 38 percent, says a group, which aims to protect the safety of children.

The National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC), said in its 2010 annual report that there had been 272 new allegations of abuse between April 2010 and March 2011.

The number of allegations - which include physical, emotional and sexual abuse - was up significantly as compared to 1976 cases last year, said the report.

According to the report, 166 of the allegations had been received by religious orders, with the other 106 received by officers of the country's 26 Catholic dioceses.

The report also said that 12 of the people against whom allegations were made are still in ministry; 174 of the alleged perpetrators have either retired, left the clerical state or been removed from ministry.

It said that while the NBSCCC's National Office expected to be informed about all allegations at the same time as they were reported to civil authorities, this was not “the practice across the Church”.

The body also reported that it was unable to continue its review of each of the 26 Dioceses, aimed at ensuring that the Church's current policies on safeguarding children were properly handled.

CEO Ian Elliott explained that the three bodies sponsoring the review - the Bishops' Conference, the Conference of Religious in Ireland, and the Irish Missionary Union - had received legal advice not to cooperate with it.

This was in spite of the fact that the three same organisations had been involved in setting up the review in the first place.
Children's minister Frances Fitzgerald said she was “gravely concerned to learn of the very serious difficulties and obstacles” seen by the board, and remarked that “anything less than full cooperation… cannot be tolerated.”

Clerical abuse survivor Andrew Madden said it was “totally unacceptable” that the NBSCCC was not able to relay its findings “into the public domain without the consent of Catholic Bishops”.

Madden also criticised the agreement reached by the NBSCCC with the sponsoring bodies, which saw it refuse to comment publicly on the findings of its reviews, and called on Fitzgerald to introduce legislation giving legal effect to the Children First guidelines as “a matter of absolute urgency”.


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Two years after Ryan report on systemic institutional abuse still no prosecutions Irish gov tells UN torture committee

Archbishop of Dublin earns respect from clergy crimes survivors but is shunned by Irish Bishops and the Pope

New allegations of clergy sex abuse in Dublin reveal nine more priests not previously identified as abusers

Northern Ireland survivors of clergy crimes say Vatican investigation inadequate, call for government inquiry

Irish court rules Murphy report on clergy abuse in Cloyne diocese can published


  1. Victims speak of anger at church response

    by BARRY ROCHE, The Irish Times December 20, 2011

    REACTION: SOME OF the 11 complainants who allege they were sexually assaulted as teenagers by “Fr Ronat” last night spoke of their anger at the handling of their complaints by Bishop John Magee and the Diocese of Cloyne.

    One woman, “Donnelle”, who made a complaint in 2005 that she was sexually assaulted by Fr Ronat between the ages of 15 and 20, said what had shocked her most was the attitude of the church authorities in seeking to downplay Fr Ronat’s abuse.

    “Every time somebody came forward with a complaint to either Bishop Magee or Msgr Denis O’Callaghan, they never told them that there had been other complaints about Fr Ronat – they knew there were other complaints and yet they never told any of us,” she said.

    “I’m so angry about it, but if it happened today, I would approach it so differently – I was so respectful of Magee and O’Callaghan because they were clergy that I accepted everything they said, but now, if it were to happen again, I just would not accept what they say,” she said.

    The first complainant examined in the chapter is given the pseudonym “Ailis”. She died in 2006. Her father spoke of his anger reading the report last night and how the church in Cloyne handled his daughter’s complaint.

    “To be honest, I’m upset reading it – all this talk about my daughter being 17 when Fr Ronat abused her – he started abusing her when she was 14-15, and then to learn that a priest tried to pass it off that my daughter was some sort of Ophelia seducing him – it’s so hurtful.

    “The report gets it spot on when it says that the church authorities in Cloyne spent more energy on establishing that it was not child sexual abuse than on dealing with the fact that it had priests who, at minimum, engaged in exploitative behaviour. It demonstrates well the entire mindset of the clergy here – not one priest contacted us after we made a complaint, and we would have been very pro-church, but now I’m struggling to hang on to my faith given the way we’ve been treated,” he said.

    Another woman, “Fenella”, said she felt the commission report had understated abuse she suffered at the hands of Fr Ronat when it described her complaint against him as “one of serious sexual assault”.

    “That man anally raped me, and no one can imagine how degrading that is and there is no point in shying away from it – describing it as ‘a serious sexual assault’ does not convey the devastating impact that being assaulted like that can have on someone’s confidence.”

    She was critical of the decision by the Department of Justice to publish the report yesterday at the start of Christmas week and said no one from either the department or the Diocese of Cloyne had contacted her to offer any support in advance of publication.

    Another woman, “Keita”, said she was glad the report had been published. She had not been able to sleep in recent days waiting for it to emerge, as it had been hanging over her for three years.

    “It’s three years since I spoke up and it’s been hell having this hanging over me – it’s still going to be hell, but at least I can try to move on now. Nothing in the report surprises me in terms of how the church authorities handled things, but at least it’s out there now.”


  2. Report highlights failure of diocese

    by PATSY McGARRY, The Irish Times December 20, 2011

    WITHHELD CHAPTER: THE FAILURE of the Catholic diocese of Cloyne to deal properly with allegations of child sexual abuse up to 2008 has been highlighted in previously redacted elements of the Cloyne report, published yesterday.

    It said the failure rested mainly with former bishop of Cloyne John Magee, who resigned in March last year, and Msgr Denis O’Callaghan, the delegate for the diocese with responsibility for child protection.

    “However, at least three priests of the diocese appear to have ignored complaints,” the report said.

    The report investigated how clerical child sex abuse allegations were handled in Cloyne diocese between January 1st, 1996 and February 1st, 2009. It followed findings by the Catholic Church’s own child protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children, that child protection practices in Cloyne were “inadequate, and in some respects dangerous”.

    In January 2009 the then government decided to extend the remit of the Murphy Commission, then investigating the Dublin archdiocese, to include Cloyne.

    Its subsequent Cloyne report, published on July 13th, examined how abuse allegations against 19 priests there were handled between 1996 and 2009.

    As court proceedings were then pending against “Fr Ronat”, the pseudonym for the priest who is the subject of Chapter 9 of the Cloyne report, the High Court decided that elements of that chapter should not be published until those proceedings concluded, which they have.

    Last Friday the High Court ordered that the redacted elements be published.

    Chapter 9, the longest in the Cloyne report at 42 pages, detailed how a total of 13 complainants reported abuse allegations against Fr Ronat

    It said that: “It seems that Fr Ronat practised hypnosis as a means of dealing with the problems of people who came to him in his capacity as a guidance counsellor. A number of complainants told the commission that they were asked about hypnosis when they were making a complaint.

    “Bishop Magee denies any knowledge of Fr Ronat practising hypnosis. Fr Ronat told the commission that he did use hypnosis but only as a hobby. He said that he did not use it with people who had emotional problems but only for treatment of addictions such as tobacco and alcohol. He said he practised hypnosis from 1981 to about 1988/89.”

    In February 2009 “Keita” (a pseudonym) came forward to the diocese and gardaí alleging she had been abused by Fr Ronat in 1973 at the age of 15 and suggested hypnosis was involved.

    The commission concluded that: “This case clearly illustrates the failure by the Diocese of Cloyne to deal properly with allegations of child sexual abuse up to the year 2008.

    “Not only were the procedures, voluntarily agreed by the diocese, not followed but two of the complaints – those of ‘Ailis’ in 1995 and ‘Bretta’ in relation to ‘Matthew’ in 1996, were not classified as child sexual abuse.”

    It said “complaints were not reported to the gardaí when they should have been. They were not reported to the health board/HSE by the diocese until 2008.”

    It found that there were no proper church investigations of the complaints and the commission did “not accept that there was any real restriction on ministry.”

    It also found a statement made to gardaí by “Matthew” in March 2003 “seems to have been put in a drawer and forgotten about until raised by this investigation”.


  3. Irish PM: Magdalene laundries product of harsh Ireland

    By Shane Harrison BBC NI Dublin correspondent February 5, 2013

    Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has apologised for the stigma and conditions suffered by women who were inmates of the Magdalene laundries.

    Mr Kenny said the laundries had operated in a "harsh and uncompromising Ireland," but he stopped short of a formal apology from the government.

    About 10,000 women passed through the laundries in the Irish Republic between 1922 and 1996, a report has revealed.

    The laundries were Catholic-run workhouses that operated in Ireland.

    Mr Kenny expressed his sympathies with survivors and the families of those who died.

    He added that the report found no evidence of sexual abuse in the laundries and that 10% of inmates were sent by their families and 19% entered of their own volition.

    The inquiry chaired by Senator Martin McAleese found 2,124 of those detained in the institutions were sent by the authorities.

    There will be a debate in the Irish parliament in two weeks time giving members time to read the 1,000-page document.

    State involvement
    Girls considered "troubled" or what were then called "fallen women" were sent there and did unpaid manual work.

    In 2011, the UN Committee Against Torture called on the Irish government to set up an inquiry into the treatment of thousands of women and girls.

    In response, the Irish government set up an inter-departmental committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, to establish the facts of the Irish state's involvement with the Magdalene laundries.

    Survivors and representative groups, and the religious congregations, co-operated with the departmental committee.

    Senator McAleese's inquiry found that half of the girls and women put to work in the laundries were under the age of 23 and 40%, more than 4,000, spent more than a year incarcerated.

    Fifteen percent spent more than five years in the laundries while the average stay was calculated at seven months.

    The youngest death on record was 15, and the oldest 95, the report found.

    Some of the women were sent to laundries more than once, as records show a total of 14,607 admissions, and a total of 8,025 known reasons for being sent to a laundry.

    Statistics in the report are based on records of eight of the 10 laundries. The other two, both operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Dun Laoghaire and Galway, were missing substantial records.

    Women were forced into Magdalene laundries for a crime as minor as not paying for a train ticket, the report found.

    The majority of those incarcerated were there for minor offences such as theft and vagrancy.

    A small number of the women were there for prostitution.

    The report also confirmed that a police officer could arrest a girl or a woman without warrant if she was being recalled to the laundry or if she had run away.

    Amnesty International has called for former residents of Magdalene laundry-type institutions in Northern Ireland to come forward to report their experiences to the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

    Amnesty spokesman Patrick Corrigan said: "Those who suffered abuse as children are now eligible to come forward to the inquiry, recently established by the Northern Ireland Executive, and we would encourage them to consider doing so."

    Some former inmates rejected Enda Kenny's apology and demanded a fuller and more frank admission from government and the religious orders involved.


  4. The Magdalene Laundries: Irish Report Exposes a National Shame

    By Sorcha Pollak TIME February 07, 2013

    They were the forgotten women of Ireland, kept under lock and key, forced to clean and sew, and to wash away the sins of their previous life while never being paid a penny. Some stayed months, others years. Some never left. They were the inmates of Ireland’s notorious 20th century workhouses, the Magdalene Laundries. And this week, with the publication of a government report into the dark history of the laundries, the women came that much closer to obtaining justice.

    The laundries — a beneficent-sounding word that helped hide the mistreatment that took place inside their walls — were operated by four orders of Catholic nuns in Ireland from 1922 to 1996. Over 10,000 young women, considered a burden by family, school and the state, spent an average of six months to a year locked up in these workhouses doing unpaid, manual work. Some were kept there against their will for years. Their numbers were made up by unmarried mothers and their daughters, women and girls who had been sexually abused, women with mental or physical disabilities who were unable to live independently, and young girls who had grown up under the care of the church and the state. The laundries were “a mechanism that society, religious orders and the state came up with to try and get rid of people deemed not to be conforming to the so-called mythical, cultural purity that was supposed to be part of Irish identity,” Irish historian Diarmaid Ferriter told Ireland’s national broadcasting service, RTE, this week. Known as the fallen women, the workers were only entitled to leave if signed out by a family member or if a nun found a position of work for them, and if they tried to escape the confines of the home they were brought back by the Irish police.

    The report released this week by an Irish government committee focused on Irish state involvement in the Magdalene Laundries and revealed previously unknown details about the women, many of whom spent years of their lives locked in these workhouses. The report found that a total of 2,124 women (26.5%) of the 10,012 admitted from 1922 to 1996 were referred by the state. Successive Irish governments have denied that the state played a role in sending women to the workhouses. The report also found that the youngest girl to have been admitted was 9 years old while the oldest woman was 89. Nearly 900 women died while working in the laundries, the youngest of whom was 15 years old. The findings state that “the psychological impact on these girls was undoubtedly traumatic and lasting.”

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  5. For years, advocacy support groups representing the women who lived in the laundries have called for the Irish government to offer a full apology on behalf of the state. Following the release of the report on Feb. 5, Prime Minister Enda Kenny repeatedly apologized for any “stigma” that was attached to these “fallen women” and also apologized for the length of time it had taken for the government to carry out the inquiry, but he did not acknowledge that the state shared responsibility for what happened to the women in the laundries. He has called for a parliamentary debate later in February at which MPs are due to discuss how the government should respond in full to the findings of the report.

    Professor James Smith of Boston College, who has written two books on the history of the Magdalene Laundries, voiced his dissatisfaction with the government’s response. “I wrote in the Irish Times today that this government would be judged on its response to the report,” Smith said in an e-mail to TIME, “but Mr. Kenny has failed that test.” Meanwhile, a key advocacy group, Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), has called once again not only for an apology but also for the Irish government to establish a “transparent and nonadversarial compensation process that includes the provision of pensions, lost wages, health and housing services.”

    Mari Steed, co-founder and committee director for JFM, was adopted from a laundry when she was a baby and says it was the discovery of her birth mother’s past that motivated her to find out the truth behind the laundries.

    Steed discovered that her maternal grandmother had given birth to four children out of wedlock, something that was greatly frowned upon by many in mid-20th century Ireland. Steed’s grandmother’s family, ashamed of their daughter, sent her to Manchester to start a new life on her own — away from her children. Soon after she arrived in England she got married and went on to have seven children, but she never told her husband about her other four children in Ireland. One of these was a girl named Josephine — Steed’s birth mother.

    When Josephine was separated from her mother, she was sent by family members to a tough residential industrial school, run by nuns, in the city of Waterford. When she was 14, the nuns transferred Josephine to a Magdalene Laundry in Cork, in the south of the country. She spent the next decade behind its walls. (Josephine is still alive but requested that her daughter, Steed, only provide her first name to TIME).

    Educated by nuns, Josephine had minimal knowledge of the outside world and no experience of men. “They were easy prey because they were so naive and vulnerable,” explains Steed. The nuns found Josephine a job working in a hospital in Dublin and allowed her to leave the laundry. She met a man named Arthur at a dance when she was 27 and became pregnant by him — but he had a partner and two children, says Steed, who learned the history from her mother. Josephine told him she was pregnant and he went to visit his newborn baby in Cork, but he felt his duty was to his wife and children in England. A relationship with Josephine and her child was impossible in 1950s Ireland, although, as Steed recalls, it was “evident he brooded over it his whole life.”

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  6. Steed spent the first 18 months of her life with Josephine in a mother-and-baby home in Cork but was adopted in 1961 by an American couple who lived in Philadelphia. Josephine was heartbroken to see her baby girl taken away from her, but she had little choice — she was a young, single Irish mother with no financial or family support. It was then she made the decision to never to have children again for fear that they, too, would be taken away.

    Josephine, like many other Magdalene women, fled to England once the nuns released her from the laundry. She married twice but kept her life in the laundries a secret from her partners. “It was difficult for a lot of the survivors, especially those who went to the U.K. and were really trying to blend in,” Steed says. “It really wasn’t something you wanted people to know because they’d make fun of you and you’d get bullied for it.”

    After they were reunited, Steed took her mother to Ireland in 2002. It was Josephine’s first trip to her homeland in 40 years, but she no longer felt any connection to the country where she had suffered so much. “The more I thought about it,” recalls Steed, “what did Ireland have for her?”

    The release of Tuesday’s report means that women like Josephine may finally have the courage to step forward and identify themselves. But first they need recognition of state involvement in the laundries from the Irish government, says Steed. “I believe the absence of an apology and an invitation to talk about what happened has kept people silent,” says Maeve O’Rourke, a legal representative for JFM. O’Rourke, who interviewed women who had been kept in the laundries against their will for a submission to the U.N. Committee Against Torture, believes that an official acknowledgment from the state could bring an end to the stigma and shame associated with having lived in a laundry. These women “vividly described the ongoing effects to me, in terms of mental health issues, poverty and isolation,” she says.

    The testimonials she gathered paint a dark picture of the deep scars the laundries left on the women. In the U.N. submission, one woman wrote anonymously: “I am still treated for depression, for years and years. And I had tried to commit suicide many times in the past. I never found happiness. I felt like broken pieces, and I never felt in one piece.” Others are still nervous about returning to Ireland — some even harbor the fear that they could be sent back to the laundries. “I ask them how they feel now about Ireland, and they feel betrayed,” explains O’Rourke. “They feel conflicted because it’s their country, it’s their identity, but it has failed them so badly.”


  7. We were girls in there, not women and the girls in there cried every day

    By LARISSA NOLAN The Irish Sun February 7, 2013

    SINGER Sinead O’Connor has revealed how her time in a notorious Magdalene laundry affected her for life.

    Brave Sinead, 46, was sent to the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity laundry in Dublin when she was just 14 years old after she was labelled a “problem child”.

    She told the Irish Sun: “We were girls in there, not women, just children really. And the girls in there cried every day.

    “It was a prison. We didn’t see our families, we were locked in, cut off from life, deprived of a normal childhood.

    “We were told we were there because we were bad people. Some of the girls had been raped at home and not believed.

    “One girl was in because she had a bad hip and her family didn’t know what to do with her.

    “It was a great grief to us.”

    And she explained that her 18 months in High Park, Drumcondra, Dublin, left her so angry at the injustice that it was part of the reason she caused worldwide controversy by tearing up a picture of the Pope on live television.

    She said: “It wasn’t the only reason, but it was one of them.”

    Last night, she lashed out at the Church’s “flaccid” apology and said she was “disgusted” by it.

    Mother-of-four Sinead said: “They said something like, ‘We’re sorry for the hurt’.

    “The word hurt doesn’t cover it. I am disgusted that the State won’t apologise. I’m disgusted at the tone of the Church’s flaccid apology. The Church is getting away with it again.”

    Troubled Sinead — who has previously told how she suffered abuse as a child — began stealing as a teenager and was sent to the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Institute.

    She said her worried dad thought he was doing the right thing by sending her to be “rehabilitated” at the facility.

    She claims her father told her he even paid for the privilege of doing so.

    She said: “He thought he was doing the right thing. He was convinced into it.

    “He paid them to take me. I never told him the truth of how bad it was.

    “There was no rehabilitation there and no therapy. Nothing but people telling us we were terrible people. I stopped the stealing all right. I didn’t want to be sent back there. But at what cost?”

    Sinead was finally let out when she agreed to go to boarding school.

    She spent third and fourth year of secondary school in High Park and went on to to do her two final years in Newtown School in Waterford.

    And talking of her time at High Park, Sinead said: “I wouldn’t class myself as being abused while I was there. I came in at the tail end of it.

    “But certainly some of the punishments were a little fucking odd.

    “As a punishment, I would be sent up to bed early to go to sleep with the dying old Magdalene ladies. There would be about six of them in the room and me and I was terrified.

    These women were old and dying and I was scared up there.

    “The laundries were gone then, but I did see them in a big room, about 200 square feet full of laundries. And I saw the older women, shuffling along. We were not allowed to talk to them.”


  8. Outrage as another Magdalene laundries survivor dies without receiving any compensation

    A survivors' group has hit out at the Government

    By David Coleman, Irish Mirror October 22, 2013

    A Magdalene laundries survivors group has slammed the Government after another victim died without receiving compensation.

    Kathleen Whelan, 68, passed away in her home at Baile Na Aoire, Montonotte, Co Cork, last Sunday – the day of her birthday.

    And the Magdelene Survivors Together has called on the Government to begin the process of paying out the compensation to the women immediately.

    Spokesman for the group, Steven O’Riordan, expressed his disgust that gentle Kathleen died without getting to enjoy a penny of the €100,000 in compensation that was due to her.

    He said: “We are all totally and utterly shocked with the passing of this lady. She was a kind, gentle woman.

    “She will be sadly missed by her friends and everyone that knew her.

    “The Irish Government has now saved €200,000 with the passing of two ladies who resided within these institutions.

    “It is a disgrace that the Government have not started the process of paying these women what they are due. It is as if they are waiting for all the women to die.

    “I think this event reminds us all of the importance of bringing closure to this topic.

    “Since the summer I have been in constant contact with the Department of Justice about the matter of payments and for the most part they have been unhelpful.

    “I think it’s appalling that the women have to wait so long for what they are entitled to.

    “I can’t understand what the delay is. We are none the wiser as to when the women will be paid.

    “There is also growing anger among the women that the Government will not pay the money in full.”

    Mr O’’Riordan also praised Ms Whelan for having the courage to speak out, before calling on the Government to create a Magdalene memorial with the unused money.

    He added: “It’s fair to say that Kathleen is an inspiration. To have the courage to come out and tell her story, despite all she has been through is just great.

    “I don’t think there was anybody more deserving of the money than her. She also never got to know if she had any family members other than her mother – who she had a distant relationship with.

    “Because she doesn’t know if she had any family, the money is gone to waste and she’ll never see it.

    “This case highlights the need for all the unclaimed money to be put into a pot to build a memorial for all the victims.

    “Then all the rest of the funds can be used to maintain its upkeep. That will ensure something good can come from this terrible story.

    “Kathleen would have lived her whole life in orphanages and industrial schools and then the laundries, so she spent such a huge chunk of her life in these institutions.

    “Add to that the fact that she died on her birthday which makes it all the more saddening.”

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