Magdalen Laundry survivor dies

Kathleen Whelan with Magdalene Survivors Together Director Steven O'Riordan

Kathleen Whelan with Magdalen Survivors Together Director Steven O’Riordan.
By David Coleman
A Magdalen laundries survivors group has slammed the Government after another victim died without receiving compensation.

Outrage as another Magdalene laundries survivor dies without receiving any compensation 22 Oct 2013

A survivors’ group has hit out at the Government Share on print Share on email Kathleen Whelan with Magdalene Survivors Together Director Steven O’Riordan A Magdalene laundries survivors group has slammed the Government after another victim died without receiving compensation. Kathleen Whelan, 68, passed away in her home at Baile Na Aoire, Montonotte, Co Cork, last Sunday – the day of her birthday. And the Magdelene Survivors Together has called on the Government to begin the process of paying out the compensation to the women immediately. Spokesman for the group, Steven O’Riordan, expressed his disgust that gentle Kathleen died without getting to enjoy a penny of the €100,000 in compensation that was due to her. He said: “We are all totally and utterly shocked with the passing of this lady. She was a kind, gentle woman. “She will be sadly missed by her friends and everyone that knew her. “The Irish Government has now saved €200,000 with the passing of two ladies who resided within these institutions. “It is a disgrace that the Government have not started the process of paying these women what they are due. It is as if they are waiting for all the women to die. “I think this event reminds us all of the importance of bringing closure to this topic. “Since the summer I have been in constant contact with the Department of Justice about the matter of payments and for the most part they have been unhelpful. A Magdalene laundry “I think it’s appalling that the women have to wait so long for what they are entitled to. “I can’t understand what the delay is. We are none the wiser as to when the women will be paid. “There is also growing anger among the women that the Government will not pay the money in full.” Mr O’’Riordan also praised Ms Whelan for having the courage to speak out, before calling on the Government to create a Magdalene memorial with the unused money. He added: “It’s fair to say that Kathleen is an inspiration. To have the courage to come out and tell her story, despite all she has been through is just great. “I don’t think there was anybody more deserving of the money than her. She also never got to know if she had any family members other than her mother – who she had a distant relationship with. “Because she doesn’t know if she had any family, the money is gone to waste and she’ll never see it. “This case highlights the need for all the unclaimed money to be put into a pot to build a memorial for all the victims. “Then all the rest of the funds can be used to maintain its upkeep. That will ensure something good can come from this terrible story. “Kathleen would have lived her whole life in orphanages and industrial schools and then the laundries, so she spent such a huge chunk of her life in these institutions. “Add to that the fact that she died on her birthday which makes it all the more saddening.”

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