Minister accuses opposition of point scoring over Magdalene report

Opposition parties are being accused of using the Magdalene Laundries report to score political points.

The claim was made by Labour Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch during a Dail debate last night of a Fianna Fail motion calling on the government to apologise immediately to survivors of the Laundries.

Minister Lynch claimed that Sinn Fein had only recently shown an interest in the Magdalene survivors and was now using them as a "political football".

But her harshest criticism was reserved for Fianna Fail - who she accused of "galling" hypocrisy.

The Minister read from a letter which was written by a woman who represents survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.




The Taoiseach had said yesterday that the Dáil motion by Fianna Fáil showed "scant regard" for those who lived and worked in the Laundries.

Enda Kenny has already signalled during a meeting with some women on on Monday that he will deliver an apology during a Dáil debate next week.

Last week Mr. Kenny declined to issue an apology after the McAleese Report found State involvement in the laundries.

Opposition parties rounded on the Taoiseach in the Dáil after groups representing the women expressed initial outrage that he had not given them the apology they expected.

But the Taoiseach said the report needs to be examined, reflected on and debated in the Dáil.

He says the issue is complex and requires a depth of understanding from the report and needs to be treated with sensitivity and respect.

And the Taoiseach says that is not what Fianna Fáil is doing with their motion.

"The Fianna Fail Party I know have a motion down; I would have thought having given a clear signal of what we like to do here, that a political motion put in this way shows scant respect for the authors of the report - and less respect for the persons for whom it's about" he said.

"And I would have thought that everybody in the Oireachtas - of all parties and none - would reflect on what is the best thing to do here" he added.