Laundries were “different” to Industrial Schools

The fact that Newtownforbes was an industrial school with a laundry attached makes it an entirely different situation to the Magdalene Laundries, according to one long-standing campaigner for the Magdalene women.

The fact that Newtownforbes was an industrial school with a laundry attached makes it an entirely different situation to the Magdalene Laundries, according to one long-standing campaigner for the Magdalene women.

When speaking to the Longford Leader this week Sally Mulready, Council of State and leader of the Step by Step Project which has sought justice for the Magdalene women for the last 14 years refused to be drawn on whether those in Industial schools should be entitled to redress under the new package currently being formulated by Judge Quirke.

She did however state that a redress system had been put in place for those who had suffered, and it was her understanding that they had “been very well compensated for the time they spent in industrial schools”.

“Judge Quirke has been appointed to administer a scheme for the Magdalene women – this will include a package of measures that are designed to make their lives more comfortable,” Ms Mulready said, adding that €250,000 was also to be allocated to Step by Step so that the organisation could continue to support and assist women affected by State and Institutional absue in Ireland.

“We will probably employ someone because the condition that some of those women found themselves in after the laundries was horrific,” she added. “Many fled to England and lived their lives in isolation – I do have to work with what I have got, and there were 10 Magdalene laundaries named in the McAleese Report. It was very specific and when you move to Industrial Schools it is a whole new set of complexities, and there have been people who have been compensated for the time they spent in those schools. Every Industrial School had laundries, but the Magdalene Laundries were extremely different.”

Ms Mulready is a long-time campainger for the women who worked in the Magdalene Laundries. Her father was a native of Granard.