The McAleese Report: ‘Incomplete And Not Independent’


felice90289517magdaleneThe UN Committee on Torture has responded to the investigation by Martin McAleese (centre) in to the Magdalene Laundries.

The McAleese Report, warmly received by religious commentators here, stated that no evidence exists that abuse took place in the laundries.

Despite hundreds of pages of testimony from survivors documenting incidents of physical and mental cruelty available to Mr McAleese and his team.

Felice Gaer (top) head of the UN Committee on Torture in a letter, revealed in today’s Irish Examiner (above), to the UN representative in Ireland, writes:

The report lacks many elements of a prompt, independent and thorough investigation…specifically the committee has recieved information from several sources highlighting that the McAleese Report despite its length and detail did not conduct a fully independent investigation into allegations of arbitary detention, forced labour or ill treatment.


It was Ms Gaer’s Committee Against Torture and its 2010 report into the laundries that forced the government to launch an inquiry. Unca called on the government to “institute independent and thorough investigations” into the Magdalene Laundries abuse, to “prosecute and punish the perpetrators” in appropriate cases, and to “ensure that all victims obtain redress.”

In her letter, Ms Graer adds

Please clarify whether the state party intends to set up an inquiry body that is independent with definite terms of reference and statutory powers to compel evidence and retain evidence from relevant religious bodies.


Since its publication in February, The McAleese Report has been used by Catholic fundamentalists as ‘proof’ that much of the survivors’ claims of mistreatment by the religious orders were embellished.

UN anti-torture body criticises Magdalenes report (Conall Ó Fátharta, Irish Examiner)

Previously: Omission To Pray

He Did The State Some Service

Lost In The Wash

The Magdalene Report: A Conclusion

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