Tuesday 16 January 2018

Martin ups pressure over wrong details given to UN body

Michael Brennan, Sarah McDonald and Ruaidhri Giblin

ARCHBISHOP of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has upped the pressure on the Government on the Magdalene Laundries issue by pointing out that it gave wrong information on its role to a key UN body.

Two years ago, the former secretary general of the Department of Justice Sean Aylward told the UN Committee Against Torture that the vast majority of women who went to Magdalene Laundries went there voluntarily or with the consent of their parents or guardians.

But the Magdalene report compiled by Martin McAleese discovered that the State was involved in admitting 26.5pc of the 10,000 women who ended up in the Magdalene Laundries.

Dr Martin said that he was leaving the issue of making an apology to the women to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

But he pointed out how the State had supplied the wrong information to the UN committee despite having the correct facts in its own records. "I find it strange that nobody has apologised for the representatives of the Irish government going before the UN Committee on Torture and saying that these were just private institutions," he said.

It came as the Justice for Magdalenes group has called for the resignation of Mr Aylward from the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

He was appointed to the group after stepping down as secretary general of the Department of Justice in 2011.

A spokesperson for Justice Minister Alan Shatter said it was a matter solely for the Council of Europe.

Irish Independent

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