15. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality when the archive of the interdepartmental committee on the Magdalen laundries will be made available. [15637/17]


Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): In February, 2013 the report of an Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of the State's involvement with the Magdalen Laundries was published. That report was chaired by then Senator Martin McAleese and it is commonly referred to as the McAleese report. The material in the Report relates to 10 different institutions which were run by 4 different Orders of nuns over a period of 70 years. The religious congregations involved gave full access to the Inter Departmental Committee and its report provides a wealth of information, in anonymised form, for those interested in research .
The McAleese report specifically states that it was agreed that the most appropriate course of action would be that the archive of the Committee’s work would be deposited with An Taoiseach and that is where the archive is held. The records provided by the religious congregations concerned were returned to them and are not part of the State archive.
The records held in the State archive and by the religious congregations contain very sensitive personal data. In relation to the records held by the religious congregations, I am informed that a person who had been in the Magdalen Laundry concerned will be given access to their own records. As regards general access, that is a matter for the congregations themselves subject to the Data Protection Acts. In relation to the State archive there are no plans to make it available publicly at this time and, at all events, the records are subject to the Data Protection Acts.