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Three extracts that puzzle… December 4, 2012

Posted by Tomboktu in Human Rights, Ministers.

Extract 1

The first extract is of the Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan, on 17 October 2012 on RTÉ Radio Radio 1, following the publication of the report of the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly, on the treatment of of young people in St Patrick’s Institution:

Ombudsman for Children: When I went in in 2009 to meet with the young people, we heard over a period of three months their views and their experience much of which is in this report. In fact Judge Reilly indicates that the issues raised were raised by young people with me, and we published that last year. To be perfectly frank people were sneering at the outcome of that report largely–

Interviewer [interrupting]: When you say that people were sneering: who?

Ombudsman for Children: I publicly commented last year at my annual report that I was very disappointed that people at a very senior level in the Department of Justice, right up to the Secretary General, sat in front of a UN committee and told that UN committee that this was about children’s perception and that really dampened down the notion that any of these kinds of things that were happening, or were real, because of the people that were reporting it.


Ombudsman for Children: Last year I was, I suppose, patronised somewhat, and made fun of, if you like, and was made to feel I was being naive in thinking that what the young people were saying was true.

Extract 2

The second extract is of the then Secretary General of the Department of Justice and Equality, Sean Aylward, replying to questions from the UN Committee against Torture, in Geneva, 24 May 2011 :

Secretary General, Department of Justice: Ombudsman for Children’s Office: Involvement with St Patrick’s. In the longer paper which you have we refer to a report which was prepared by the independent Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan on St Patrick’s Institution on the 9th of February 2011. That report documents the views of a selection of offenders and its purpose is to highlight rather than verify their perceptions. In doing so, the rpoert identifies a number of discrepancies between the young people’s perception and the actual reality.

Extract 3

The third extract is from the Written answer to two Parliamentary Questions, 11 January 2012.

606 Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure adopted in respect of the recent appointment of Ireland’s representative to the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture; if he is satisfied with the appointment as made, having due regard to appropriate and accepted protocols and convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40928/11]

612 Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality with regard to the recent appointment of new members of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the instruction he gave to the Irish ambassador attending at the Committee of Ministers that voted on new members; if the ambassador was given any instruction to contribute to debate on the Irish candidates; and if so, the instructions; if the ambassador was given any instruction to vote on the Irish candidate; if so, the instruction; and if any representation was made to other voting members of that committee in favour of any of the Irish candidates. [41011/11]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 606 and 612 together.

For the first time in this State, expressions of interest were sought through public advertisement in August from suitably qualified and experienced persons for nomination as Ireland’s representative to the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). Advertisements were placed on the websites of my Department and the Public Appointments Service with the criteria for selection having regard to the requirements of the CPT for nomination.

Forty-eight expressions of interest were received. In line with the procedures for nomination to the CPT, three individuals had to be selected as the Irish nominees. The three nominees listed below were chosen in the light of the experience, expertise and characteristics identified by the Council of Europe as being relevant for membership of the CPT.

Dr Mary Rogan, Lecturer Dublin Institute of Technology, Chairperson of the Irish Penal Reform Trust;

Mr Seán Aylward, a former Director General of the Irish Prison Service and Secretary General of my Department; and

Mr Donncha O’Connell, Lecturer in Law, National University of Ireland, Galway.

The Council of Europe is satisfied with the selection process used for the nomination and commented favourably on it. I gave instructions that no particular preference should be shown for any of the three candidates. The nominees were not put forward for consideration in any order of preference, and to the best of my knowledge Ireland expressed no preference for any particular candidate and abstained from the voting at the Committee of Minister’s Deputies meeting in Strasbourg on 7 December, 2011 which appointed Ireland’s representative on the CPT. It is a matter for the Council of Europe to decide which nominees should be appointed to the CPT.


1. Anonymous - December 4, 2012

[…] […]


2. steve white - December 4, 2012

Committee for the Prevention of Torture ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_the_Prevention_of_Torture )
They are elected for a four-year term by the Committee of Ministers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_of_Ministers_of_the_Council_of_Europe) It comprises the Foreign Affairs Ministers of all the member states
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Ireland Eamon Gilmore http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_the_31st_D%C3%A1il


3. steve white - December 4, 2012

is there possibly a tradition of abstaining when it comes to our own country? thus the issue was sown up by then


4. Joe - December 4, 2012

Does it puzzle that Sean Aylward was nominated arising from a process of expressions of interest, that was organised by the government Department he heads? Par for the course in this rotten country I would have thought.

What’s the abuse scandal that might be looked back on in thirty years time in a way that we look back now on the Magdalene/Residential Institutions scandals and say “How could we/they have let this happen”? I nominate the Irish prison system – sytematic abuse of boys, girls, men and women.

To paraphrase a great revolutionary activist: “Tell prisoners that they are prisoners no more; set the downtrodden free.”


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