....It does not matter seemingly that the Department of Justice now admits, in the face of archival documentation, its own complicity in referring women to the laundries as an alternative to a prison sentence, or sending them to the laundries on remand and on probation. It does not matter that other Government departments, including Education, Health, Social Affairs, Finance, and Defence, were equally complicit.

The Department of Justice will first and foremost protect the State’s interests, especially its financial interests. Its priority is not to serve or protect the constitutional rights of the women and young girls who experienced abuse and exploitation in the laundry institutions.

The Irish State will apologise but not accept liability. The Catholic Church cannot have Pope Benedict offer a personal apology for fear it would undermine papal infallibility. Both positions callously disregard the potential benefit of restorative justice for the victims of abuse.

Read the whole letter.