News

UN committee on torture criticise Ireland's treatment of Magdalene workhouse victims

The UN committee on torture has criticised the Irish government for not pursuing criminal prosecutions against those involved in the ill treatment of women in the Magdalene laundries.

THE Irish government has been criticised by a powerful United Nations Committee over its failure to prosecute members of the Catholic Church involved in the ill treatment of women in the Magdalene Laundries.

A report released by the UN committee against torture noted authorities ignored its call to investigate allegations of criminality against women in the Catholic workhouses, or to prosecute perpetrators of abuse and ensure that victims are properly compensated.

Despite Dr Martin McAleese reporting in 2013 on the State's role in the Magdalene Laundries, the UN said the government has not done what was required.

It noted that €25.5 million has been paid in compensation to 677 women who spent time in the laundries.

However, the UN said the Irish government should ensure that any woman who was put in a Magdalene workhouse has the right to sue even if they have been previously granted redress.

The committee also called for all Mother and Baby Homes to be investigated for alleged abuse, including forced adoption.

The UN asked for a report on all criminal investigations, prosecutions, convictions and sentences handed down since the Ryan Report into abuse in State and Church-run institutions, was published.

The committee also called for all Mother and Baby Homes to be investigated for alleged abuse, including forced adoption.

On other criminal justice issues, the UN raised concerns that suspects in garda custody do not have the right to a lawyer while being interrogated as a law enacted in 2011 to allow for the reform has still not come into force.

The Garda Ombudsman's office should be strengthened, the report said.

It called for new independent and unannounced inspections of garda stations and other places of detention and systematic CCTV monitoring of garda interview rooms.

On prisons, the UN committee welcomed work done to stop jailing people for fines. However it raised concerns that the most recent annual report of the Inspector of Prisons was published in 2014 and covered only seven of the country's 14 facilities.

On immigration issues, the UN criticised the detention of asylum seekers and migrants in prisons and garda stations alongside remand and convicted prisoners.

It also criticised the delay in opening a promised immigration detention centre at Dublin Airport which is due to open a year from now.

The Government was also attacked for not having any data on the number of people who were denied "leave to land" in the Republic last year and who were subsequently not allowed into the country as asylum seekers.

The UN said asylum seekers should be detained as a last resort, for as short a time as possible and in an appropriate place, not in a prison.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Become a subscriber and get full access

News

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: