Irish victims: Probe Catholic laundries

2010-11-09 21:25

Dublin - Ireland's human rights watchdog has appealed to the government to investigate the abuse of women and girls in prison-style Catholic laundries, a long-unresolved issue of Irish abuse scandals in church-run institutions.

The Irish Human Rights Commission found in a report published on Tuesday that state authorities ordered hundreds of women and girls into the workhouses. They once were popular repositories for women accused of moral shortcomings, such as giving birth out of wedlock, and for women convicted of petty criminal offences.

The last laundry closed in 1970.

Ireland has resisted admitting responsibility for the women's care, arguing that the church ran the laundries and state officials never inspected them.

The government says it will study Tuesday's findings.