Magdalene Laundries report 'by end of year'

A report on state involvement in the conditions in the Magdalene Laundries will be submitted to Government by the end of the year.

Senator Martin McAleese, head of the review, has said that information is still coming in which could add to the findings.

“A significant level of information and documentation has been identified,” the Department of Justice said.

“However, relevant records continue to be identified by Government departments and state agencies – and the committee also continues to receive new submissions from representative and advocacy groups.

“Senator McAleese has indicated that the information still being identified has the capacity to add in a meaningful way to the overall outcome of the Committee’s work.”

The independent Inter-Departmental Committee, chaired by Senator McAleese, has told Justice Minister Alan Shatter that it would be improper to stop its work without examining the additional material.

The Committee said it intends to present a substantial final report as soon as possible, at the latest before the end of the year.

Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), the survivor advocacy group, said it was "shocked and disappointed by today’s announcement that the final report...may now not appear until the end of the year."

The independent Inter-Departmental Committee was set up by the Government to establish the facts of state involvement with the Magdalene Laundries, to clarify any state interaction, and to produce a narrative detailing such interaction.

An initial progress report was published on October 25.

Special rapporteur on children’s rights Geoffrey Shannon used the publication of his annual report in July to claim that reports from women forced into the laundries showed their treatment “constituted slavery”.

The UN Committee Against Torture called on the Government in 2011 to set up an inquiry into the treatment of thousands of women and girls in the laundries.

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