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McDonald calls on Justice Minister to address serious concerns raised by UNCAT on the Magdalene’s Inter-Departmental Committee Report

13 June, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD today called on the Justice Minister to address the very serious concerns raised by UNCAT regarding the Magdalene Laundries Inter-Departmental Committee Report.

The Dublin TD said:

“The United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) monitors implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its State parties

“UNCAT recently wrote to the Minister for Justice setting out a number of very serious concerns regarding the Magdalene Laundries Inter-Departmental Committee Report.

“Concerns raised by Felice D Gaer, follow up Rapporteur, states that the Inter-Departmental report lacked many elements of a prompt, independent and thorough investigation, as recommended by UNCAT in its Concluding Observations.

“She also notes that the report did not conduct a full independent investigation into allegations of arbitrary detention, forced labour or ill-treatment despite the State receiving extensive survivor testimony in the form of reports by Justice for Magdalenes. In addition she notes the State was aware of the existence of possible criminal wrongdoings, including physical and psychological abuse.

“This is a deeply serious matter as the work of Mr. Justice Quirke has been confined to the parameters of the Magdalene Laundries Inter-Departmental Committee Report, a report based on significantly incomplete information. Minister Shatter needs to respond to UNCAT's concerns as a matter of urgency.”

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