Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny expressed his personal regret today to the victims of the Catholic church's scandalous Magdalene Laundries scheme and admitted government complicity in the business.
But his regrets didn't amount to a formal government apology and fell far short of what had been demanded by campaigners.
An 18-month investigation into the shameful workhouses went into the Irish state's involvement in the vicious exploitation of vulnerable women in the Catholic church's chain of Magdalene Laundries between 1922 and 1996.
Senator Martin McAleese's inquiry into the Magdalene scandal was prompted by a report from the UN committee against torture in June 2011.
But the report went nowhere near reflecting the criticisms of campaigners and the victims themselves, minimising both the number of victims and the depth of their suffering.
Contrary to claims by some victims, Mr Kenny told the Dail that the report found no evidence of sexual abuse in the laundries, that 10 per cent of inmates were sent by their families and 19 per cent entered of their own volition.
The money-spinning chain of laundries was run by four orders of nuns, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, Mercy, Charity and the Good Shepherd.
The state sent girls and women into the laundry system through courts and mother-and-baby homes and then abandoned them.
The women earned nothing and were even deprived of their names.
They were locked in and forced to work long hours in dreadful conditions.
Women who tried to escape were rounded up by police and returned.
Girls as young as two were consigned to the laundries and left there to work unpaid, some for the rest of their lives.
The Irish government has acknowledged that women in the laundries were abuse victims, but the victims have received no compensation.
It is doubtful if they will let the issue rest there.