Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said welcomed the Government’s commitment to review of applications to the Magdalene Redress Scheme refused by the Department of Justice. The Sinn Féin TD said the review is due to be completed within the next three months.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I welcome that the Government now accepts the recommendations made by the Ombudsman following his Office’s investigation into the Magdalene Laundry Redress Scheme.

“The Ombudsman’s investigation was a result of a number of complaints lodged with his office by women whose applications to the Magdalene Redress Scheme had been rejected by the Department of Justice and Equality. In some cases the rejections were for purely technical, and in my opinion, unjust grounds.

“Even after the investigation was complete and the recommendations prepared, the first response from the Department of Justice and Equality was to push it back.

“In January, the Ombudsman stated that, in his ten years as Ombudsman, he had never reached a point where a Department had, prior to publication of a report, absolutely and categorically refused to engage in the process of accepting and implementing the recommendations made.

“While welcoming the Government announcement, I am particularly concerned for the small number of women who still await their redress due to a lack of capacity. They are particularly reliant on the Department of Justice and the Court Services to progress hardship applications and for support in the application process.

“It will also be important that the Department of Justice and Equality conduct a review of the Scheme to include a consultation with women who applied to it prior to developing guidance for future schemes as recommended by the Ombudsman.”