Sensitive information disclosed to the McAleese committee, which has been investigating State involvement with Magdalene laundries, will not be published in the committee’s report tomorrow.
interdepartmental committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, began
its work in July 2011 and has sought to establish the extent of State
interaction with the 10 Magdalene laundries in Ireland between 1922 and
As Senator McAleese made clear when appointed on July 1st,
2011, “the sole purpose of the committee is to clarify and detail the
facts of any State interaction with the laundries”.
interim report the committee published on October 25th, 2011, disclosed
that “appropriate safeguards” had been put in place to enable the four
religious congregations concerned to co-operate with the committee
“within the law and while fully respecting the sensitivity and
confidentiality of the records”.
It said an order had been made by
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to authorise the disclosure of
sensitive personal data to – and processing of such data by – the
The congregations involved were the Sisters of Our Lady
of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious
Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.
No personal data
report said, “in no case would such sensitive personal data be
published or made available to the public without the consent of the
data subject”, living or dead.
It added: “The names or personal data of
former residents of the Magdalene laundries will not be published or
otherwise released to the general public.”
Also, an archive of the
committee’s work will not include “personal and sensitive personal
data”, all of which will be “destroyed and/or returned to the relevant
religious order upon conclusion of the committee’s work and publication
of its report”, it said.
Researchers at the women’s studies centre
in the school of social justice at UCD are seeking interviewees for a
Magdalene oral history project. It is collecting accounts from Magdalene
survivors, relatives, members of the religious orders, and anyone who
wishes to share memories and experiences of the institutions.
interested should contact 01-7167804 or