Women take appeal for Magdalene laundry redress to High Court

FourCourtsFour women are launching High Court proceedings against the State after being refused access to a compensation scheme for Magdalene laundry survivors.

The women claim they were used as forced labour in St Mary’s Refuge Magdalene Laundry, but have been excluded from the redress scheme set up in 2013 because they were only ever admitted to a separate institution called An Grianán Institution.

However, the court heard yesterday that the Health Service Executive (HSE) had collected information suggesting the two institutions were “one and the same”.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys was also told that it was accepted the women had been forced to work in the laundry, even though they were not admitted to it.

The four women are bringing separate actions.

Three of the women are challenging a decision made by the ombudsman last June to refuse their second appeal against the decision by the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE) to exclude them from compensation.

The fourth woman is challenging Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald directly over her department’s decision to exclude her last June.

Permission to bring the challenges was granted by Mr Justice Humphreys.

The case will come before the High Court again in early December.