Saturday, 23 February 2013


A very important event occurred recently in Ireland, when finally apologies where made for the sending of girls to the Magdalene Laundries.

"The Taoiseach broke into tears as he made an historic and emotionally charged state apology to survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.

There was a sustained standing ovation after Taoiseach Enda Kenny described the Catholic-run workhouses as the “nation’s shame”, accepting the state’s direct involvement.
And politicians applauded the weeping women as they watched on, finally vindicated after years of struggling.
“I, as Taoiseach, on behalf of the state, the government and our citizens deeply regret and apologise unreservedly to all those women for the hurt that was done to them, and for any stigma they suffered, as a result of the time they spent in a Magdalene Laundry,” Mr Kenny said."

For the rest of the story, click on the link Kenny makes apology to Magdalenes  which will take you to The Irish Echo...

Google is full of references to this time and these events... this is just one of them...

There are books and movies, all of which not only show the sadness and often, terrible conditions, but also the fighting spirit of many of the girls.

A survivor, Maureen Taylor, talks of her time there...

May the lessons of the past show us how to plan the future...

                                                       former Magdalene laundry, Dublin, Ireland


  1. What a tragedy and while the apology will help, it won't give them back those years.

  2. Isn't that so true, they lost their youth, their confidence, often families... cruel and sad times...

  3. For some weeks now, I've been reduced to tears on following this story and was SO horrified to discover that these Magdalene Laundries, run by the Catholic Church, were not only in Ireland but spread as wide as the reaches of the church... i.e. throughout the world.
    Of particular distress was discovering that the Convent "The Pines" which I drove past often, here in South Australia and looked such a calm and beautiful place was a Magdalene Laundry of horror, abuse and slave labour. More than that, it was not shut down until the mid 1970's!!! From memory, the last in Ireland was not shut down until 1995, so it's not ancient history!
    In my opinion, the nuns who perpetuated this gross abuse should be facing Criminal charges in a Court of Law!!!

  4. So many of them were portrayed as that, Catherine, as calm, peaceful refuges for the girls in need of help and a haven... there are so many stories, some of which are just surfacing now, though have been known about and covered up for years. It horrifies me that the hypocrisy of 'religion' was so often used to mask these horrors. It was very much public angel, private devil... and families and good meaning folks trusted these children to the care of these places.

    I think there is a great deal of difference between the many honest and caring people from so many religions and the wayward uncaring and cruel ones who used religion as a means to a horrid end. It is the latter we hear about. It can't help but reduce us all to tears... but we must speak up and investigate whenever we hear of such atrocities. Knowledge is power.

    1. Absolutely Chris, I couldn't agree more. e.g. When working as a volunteer in a Womens' Shelter here in South Australia, during the late 1970's, many of the most horrific of abusers were highly regarded and seen as "pillars of society".

      "Knowledge is Power" indeed. I think you took those words right out of my mouth ;-) Thanks for your considered reply. Cheers.


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