102. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if her Department has issued any alerts to Irish embassies since October 2014 on the Magdalene restorative justice scheme; if not, the reason this is the case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9607/17]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can advise the Deputy that in October 2014 the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on request from my Department, circulated an information note on the Magdalen Laundries Restorative Justice Ex Gratia Scheme through their embassies around the world to the local Irish communities. My Department is satisfied that an information note is still up to-date and does not see the need to re-circulate what is already in circulation.
If the Deputy is aware of any group or organisation which is not aware of the Ex Gratia Scheme and would like to have this information note, my officials in the Restorative Justice Implementation Unit will be happy to assist.
On a general point, the Deputy will be aware that both the McAleese and Quirke Reports as well as the establishment of the Magdalen Scheme attracted worldwide media attention. The Irish Women Survivors Support Network circulated thousands of leaflets in the UK and continue to raise awareness about the Scheme.
The Ex Gratia Scheme remains open to new applications. To-date 669 women have received lump sum payments at a cost of over €25m. The women are also in receipt of other supports under the Scheme including top up pension type payments and free access to a range of medical services.