CAT concluding observations on Ireland

This news item from YN COMMEEYS CELTIAGH - CELTIC NEWS MANNIN points to the concluding report on Ireland issued by the UN Committee Against Torture. The report includes criticism of the governments response to the Magdelene Laundries abuse and Mother and Babies Home scandal. The Magdalene Laundries were also known as Magdalene asylums. These institutions were usually run by Roman Catholic orders but were supported by the state. It has been estimated that some 30,000 were confined in these prison like institutions in Ireland. They housed so-called.  "fallen" women who were branded as both a mother and a criminal if they happened to have a child outside of marriage. At the time there was no social welfare provision and many women had little choice but to go into these mother and child homes. In 1993, a mass grave containing 155 corpses was uncovered in the convent grounds of one of the laundries, leading to media revelations about the operations of these closed institutions. The last Magdalene asylum, in Waterford, did not close until 1996:


The UN Committee Against Torture has issued its (unedited) ‘Concluding Observations on the 2nd Periodic Report on Ireland’.

The report welcomes many positive legislative changes since the last CAT examination of State Provision.

However the report also includes a number of critical observations and reccomendations including allowing ‘civil society organisations’ to carry out unannounced visits to places of detention as well as State established - so called ‘Independent Monitoring Groups’.

It also highlights to various UN Rules and Procedures in relation to the detention of women highlighting the ‘non custodial options’ (the Bangkok Rules).

The report stresses the need for more training for both police, prison and justice staff in relation to the various UN Conventions relating to persons deprived of their liberty.

The CAT also once again single out the Irish government’s failure to address the Magdalene Laundries abuses and hold those State and Church agencies to account in a related observation the CAT is also critical of the recently established Irish government enquiry into the Mother and Babies Homes deaths scandal.

The full CAT observations are at this link:…/I…/INT_CAT_COC_IRL_28491_E.pdf


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