Will it really happen this time? Will the women who slaved for the nuns in the Magdalene laundries finally see the results of a government investigation into the abusive system that the State did nothing to end?
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is waiting for Mr. Martin McAleese to bring him the final report, due in ten days time. He will then review it before releasing it to the public four weeks later.
Review it? Why would that be necessary?
|Good Shepherd Convent & Magdalene Laundry, Cork, after a recent fire|
The women who were victims of an inhuman system fear that Mr. Shatter might be planning to scrub away the State's involvement in the incarceration of women for no other crime than that their parish priest judged them too pretty and therefore a temptation to men.
Will Mr. Shatter be able to admit that when one of the unfortunates ran away, the gardai brought her back? He would if he could prove that such action did not constitute "State involvement".
State involvement, you see, sets up a legal case for those who were slaves to sue for just compensation. The interest on those back wages alone would be a phenomenal sum, and the nuns have all cried poor. So it would fall on the government, which just happens to be skint.
Unmarried pregnant women were locked up in the laundries, which operated into the 1980's. Their children were taken from them and put up for adoption, not because the women chose that route, but because it was forced on them by a religious institution that ran roughshod over the Irish people.
While the truth has come out in recent years, as the Catholic Church has lost its influence in Ireland, the cost of the Magdalene laundries has yet to be met.
The report that Mr. Shatter delivers next month will resonate, but if you want the plain truth, you have only to listen to the words of the women who were locked away with no hope, whose lives were destroyed.
They are getting older by the day. They are slowly dying off. Will one of them live to see a penny in compensation for her suffering?