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Question

168. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Justice and Equality for a breakdown by year and by institution of the number of women who died in each of the ten Magdalen laundries. [35430/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will be aware, the report of the Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries, the McAleese Report, was published on 5th February 2013 and gave a fully comprehensive answer to the question posed by its terms of reference. The Report is a detailed, carefully researched document running to over 1,000 pages and brought into the public arena a considerable amount of information not previously known. The Report is on my Department's website: www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/MagdalenRpt2013.
The remit of the Committee was limited to State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries up to their closure. Thus, the Committee did not examine in any detail material predating the establishment of the State in 1922. The Committee, with the assistance of the Central Statistics Office, conducted a full statistical analysis of all available data on the girls and women who were admitted to and worked in the Magdalen Laundries.
The report does not purport to provide an exact number for deaths that took place in Magdalen Laundries. The report states that these searches were complex and that there were gaps in available information as well as difficulties with identifying and matching records for a variety of reasons. Further, the report points out that an examination of grave sites would not in itself provide a definitive figure for those who died in Magdalen laundries.
Specific issues that had been raised around death registration, burials and exhumations are addressed in Chapter 16 of the report.