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Monday 16 September 2019

Magdalene Laundries report to be published next month

Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin
Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Photo: Tony Gavin

Ed Carty

A REPORT on state involvement in the slave-like conditions in the Magdalene laundries is expected to be published in four weeks' time.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter revealed that he will receive what he called a substantial review within 10 days before bringing it to Government.

"As soon as I have had an opportunity to read what I understand to be a very substantial report, I will bring it to Government and it will then be published. I expect its publication within approximately four weeks," Mr Shatter said.

The timeframe for the review was extended in November after additional material came to light.

The review group, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, 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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