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Still awaiting an apology

In November 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued an apology to child migrants. This week British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a similar apology to those same children. Several hundred of the child migrants involved in this scheme were either Irish or of Irish background.

In Ireland, the Government, members of the Catholic hierarchy and religious congregations, have apologised for the abuse of children, including in state residential institutions.

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries still await their apology from the state, which was complicit in referring women and children into the laundries, from the religious orders that operated the profitable laundries and the Irish hierarchy who reaped the benefits of that profit.

Is this abuse somehow different? Is it conceivable nuns abused children and didn't abuse women in the same institution? Or is contemporary Irish society suggesting the Magdalene women deserved the treatment they received?

Does Irish society really believe there is nothing for which to apologise?

MARI STEED

Justice for Magdalenes, Co Cavan

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