In the first review of its kind carried out in Ireland the UNCAT (Committee against Torture) called for a prompt investigations into prosecutions over the Ryan Report into child abuse in church-run institutes.
The United Nations watchdog on torture has releases its findings from an investigation into the treatment of inmates in prisons, orphanages at Catholic Church workhouses.
The UN committee now urges the Irish Government to reveal how they will implement all the recommendations made by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Investigation. The said every case of abuse should be investigated and prosecuted if appropriate.
The UN committee claims following the Ryan Report 11 cases had been selected for prosecutions but eight of these were rejected. The Ryan Report, carried out over nine years, was released in 2009. It catalogued chronic sexual, physical and emotional torture by both religious and lay staff in Church run institutions.
“The committee is also gravely concerned that despite the findings of the Ryan Report that ’physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of the institutions and that sexual abuse occurred in many of them, particularly boys’ institutions’, there has been no follow up by the state party,” stated the assessment.
The committee also returned a damning critique of Ireland’s prisons. They said they were deeply concerned over overcrowding and the practice of a daily “slopping out”.
“While noting the efforts by the State party to provide all cells with in-cell sanitation, the committee is deeply concerned at the continuing practice of ’slopping out’ in some of the prisons in the state party, which amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment,” said the assessment.
It also raised questions over the level of violence being used in Irish prisons. It referred to specific allegations from members of the Traveller community in Cork who were being intimidated by other inmates.
Deirdre Duffy, The Irish Council for Civil Liberties research and policy officer, said: “As the Ryan and Murphy reports show us, Ireland is slowly waking from a culture of impunity…The UN committee’s recommendations have today underlined that tackling impunity requires a two-prong approach of prevention and redress.”
Human rights expert Maeve O’Rourke, who presented The Justice for Magdalene’s (JFM) submission to the committee during its two days of public hearings last month, said she was hopeful the Irish Government will honor its obligations to those who have suffered.
“Having suffered torture or ill-treatment, in which the state directly participated and which it knowingly failed to prevent, the women have the ongoing right to an investigation, an apology, redress and treatment with dignity,” she said.