A London-based law firm has denied allegations made by Irish journalists that it attempted to cash in on the Magdalene laundries by placing advertisements calling for victims of the scandal to place compensation claims.
Hodge Jones and Allen which is bases in Euston advertised for women who had effectively been enslaved by Roman Catholic nuns in Ireland between the early 1920s and the late 1990s to come forward. This caused uproar in the Irish press and led to numerous critical pieces about the firm.
The Irish government is currently nearing the end of a 12-week review on the scandal and is expected to announce a detailed compensation package for the 800 victims still alive. Earlier this year, government officials formally apologised for the atrocities.
Hodge Jones and Allen claims that it was first instructed 11 years ago by victims who wanted to claim compensation. The firm strived to bring a test case before the Irish Courts for years to bring the issue to the fore. It has since been asked to help the Irish government design a scheme for compensating the victims.
The UK government has already stated its intentions to bring an end to the ‘compensation culture’ which the tabloids tell us is such a problem. Indeed, under the Coalition’s plans, personal injury lawyers would essentially be irrelevant to the claims process. However the Magdalene laundries case shows that victims do need expert legal advice, especially the elderly.
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