Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
575. Deputy Michael Kennedy asked the Minister for Defence if he will provide the dates on which tenders were received from Magdalene Laundries; the way in which the Department was cognisant of the fair wages clause in such tender contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39261/10]
Minister for Defence (Deputy Tony Killeen): The Department recently examined the contents of relevant files that were located following a review of file listings. Given that the initial question related to contracts that may have been placed up to seventy years ago, there was very little material found that referred to institutional laundries and much of what is available is incomplete. It is clear however from the review of files that some institutional laundries had tendered for the award of contracts from the Department. It is apparent from the files that a St Mary’s Laundry (location and status unknown) had tendered for a laundry contract in 1975 but was unsuccessful. There are also references on file to the fact that the Magdalene Laundry in Galway had been unsuccessful in a tender competition held in 1981. It is also apparent from the files that High Park Laundry, Drumcondra and Gloucester Street Laundry, Sean McDermott Street had approached the Department in 1978 asking that they be included on the list of laundries invited to tender for future contracts.
In relation to fair wages, there is a reference on file to a meeting that took place in July 1982 regarding laundry contracts and it is clear that the fair wages clause, as it applied to “Convent Laundries”, was discussed.
The files that are the basis for the information contained in this response are not readily available owing to the Departments imminent relocation to Newbridge. When the files in question become available, I could, if requested, arrange for officials from the Department to meet with the Deputy to show him the relevant records that have been located and which form the basis of this response.
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