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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 1 September, 2014

McAleese Report into Magdalene Laundries criticised by UN

UNCAT is worried the probe was not fully independent.

Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

THE UNITED NATIONS committee that put pressure on the Irish government to investigate the Magdalene Laundries system and provide redress to survivors has criticised Martin McAleese’s investigation and subsequent report.

The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) said it was pleased that an inquiry was finally established and a report published. It also noted that the government had made a full and public apology to residents of the laundries, acknowledging the State’s involvement in their incarceration.

However, UNCAT’s rapporteur for follow-up on concluding observations said the probe “lacked many elements of a prompt, independent and thorough investigation as recommended by the committee”.

“Specifically, the committee has received information from several sources highlighting that the McAleese Report, despite its length and detail, did not conduct a fully independent investigation into allegations of arbitrary detention, forced labour or ill-treatment,” wrote Felice Gaer in a letter to Gerard CORR, the Irish UN representative.

UNCAT has asked for more information about what measures are planned to ensure that there is a fully inquiry into all complaints of abuse and how it intends to ensure the proposed redress fund will be used primarily help victims.

Read the letter in full>

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