A leading member of the UN Committee Against Torture has said the Government should compensate the survivors of the laundries.
Felice Gaer welcomed the State's acknowledgement that it had
responsibility for the laundries and that there were far more women who
were sent there involuntarily than the Government had previously
Ms Gaer is vice-chair of the UN Committee on Torture, whose calls for
an independent inquiry into the laundries prompted the Government to
commission the report.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said the Government had an obligation to provide redress to the surviving victims.
The committee, which was chaired by Dr Martin McAleese, also reported
that coroners do not appear to have been notified of deaths in the
laundries for some years leading up to 1996.
The inquiry into State involvement with the laundries said that
end-of-life issues relating to the 879 women who died in the
institutions since 1922 are of central importance to its work.
The report recalls that the 1962 Coroner's Act made it obligatory to
report a death to a coroner where there was a doubt as to its cause.
It noted that GPs were forbidden to certify a death if it was sudden, unexpected, suspicious or unnatural.
Instead, they were obliged to notify the coroner for the district in which the death occurred.
But the committee said that from the limited information available to
it, which relates to the latter part of the period it was
investigating, it appears there were no such notifications of deaths in
The committee said the obligation to notify the coroner also applied
to undertakers or any person in charge of an institution or premises
where the person who died was residing at the time of their death.
The coroner decides whether the death can be certified without
further action, whether a post mortem is required, or whether a post
mortem and inquest are required.
Approximately 8% of the women and girls who entered eight laundries between 1922 and 1996 died in them.