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Magdalen Laundries Data

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 November 2015

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Questions (512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

512. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the 1,846 women and girls confined in the Magdalene laundries during the 1920s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37292/15]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

513. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the 2,695 women and girls confined in the Magdalen laundries during the 1930s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37293/15]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

514. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the 2,498 women and girls confined in the Magdalen laundries during the 1940s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37294/15]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

515. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the 1,725 women and girls confined in the Magdalen laundries during the 1950s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37295/15]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

516. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No.167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the 1,593 women and girls confined in the Magdalen laundries during the 1960s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37296/15]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

517. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the 660 women and girls confined in the Magdalen laundries during the 1970s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37297/15]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

518. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the 147 women and girls confined in the Magdalen laundries during the 1980s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37298/15]

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Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

519. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 167 of 13 October 2015, if she will provide a breakdown, by institution, of the eight women and girls confined in the Magdalen laundries during the 1990s, given that the McAleese report merely offers a breakdown of entries by decade, but not by institution (details supplied). [37299/15]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 512 to 519, inclusive, together.

These questions seek a breakdown by institution of the number of women and girls in Magdalene Laundries in each the eight decades from the 1920s to the 1990s. The available statistics are those in the report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries - otherwise known as the McAleese Report - which submitted its report to Government in February 2013. That Report is available on my Department's website - www.justice.ie. The Committee no longer exists and its report does not contain the data in the format sought in these questions.

It is important to note, by way of general information, that the McAleese Report sets out in detail the basis for its data. It further explains that the Central Statistics Office carried out a review of the database used to ensure the highest levels of professionalism and accuracy in analysis.

I understand that the main database used was based on congregations' records and was limited to 14,607 recorded admissions to Magdalen Laundries from 1922 to the closure of the last Magdalen Laundry in 1996. Because of multiple entries the total number of individuals who entered in the period in question was estimated at 10,012 - see Chapter 7 para.34 of the Report. The remit of the Committee was limited to State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries and therefore the Committee did not examine in any detail material predating the establishment of the State in 1922 - see Chapter 2 paras. 11-17. However legacy cases (i.e. women who were admitted to Magdalen Laundries before 1922 but were still there after 1922) were included separately and totalled an additional 762 women - see Chapter 8 para. 75 and following.

As pointed out in Chapter 7 paragraphs 20-30, there are gaps in available information and the records are not always clear. There is no assertion, therefore, that the database is definitive but it is the most comprehensive database available and provides a statistically sound basis for providing general information on routes of entry and exit and lengths of stay.

I also understand that the religious congregations gave full access to the Committee to their records and that these records were returned to the Congregations. I can also advise the Deputy that the McAleese Archive is not held by my Department. It has been deposited with the Department of An Taoiseach. This had been agreed as the most appropriate course of action in order to ensure the proper maintenance of the records gathered as a result of Committee's work and as a resource for future researchers.

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