Assistance needed to invite hundreds of Magdalene Laundry survivors to special event

Assistance needed to invite hundreds of Magdalene Laundry survivors to special event

AN event is being planned to bring survivors of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries together this year.

The gathering, a two-day event due to take palce in Dublin's Mansion House, will be held in June.

It is being organised by the Justice for Magdalenes Research Group (JFMR), who claim they hope to bring together more than 200 survivors for the gathering on June 5 and 6, according to RTE.

The plans were announced by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Micheál Mac Donncha, at a meeting of  city councillors last night, where he confirmed that the event will be supported bt his office and held at the Mansion House.

However, he revealed that the final amount of funding due to be allocated to the gathering by Dublin City Council has yet to be confirmed.

The Department of Justice currently holds the contact details of an estimated 800 Magdalene Laundry survivors.

The JFMR organisation have called on the Department for assistance in formally contacting the survivors on its behalf.

It was a recommendation in the 2013 Quirke Report into the Magdalene Laundries that the State provide assistance to allow survivors to meet and interact with other Magdalene women.

JFMR also wants to use the planned gathering to have survivors discuss an appropriate memorial to the laundries - which was also recommended in the 2013 report.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said it wasn't notified of the planned event, but confirmed that assistance would be offered "if requested".

They added that this assistance could not include divulging personal details about the survivors.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, JFMR member Dr Katherine O'Donnell said the group would be willing to give the invitations to the Department of Justice to send out.