Posts Tagged Ireland

The Magdalene Laundries Scandal

I’ve blogged about the film The Magdalene Sisters before – it was based on real accounts of women incarcerated in Ireland’s Catholic workhouses.  Many of the women were badly mistreated and abused by the nuns running the workhouses.  The film was set in the 60s.  It’s easy to believe they were part of the past.

Not so much.

Ireland’s government was directly involved in sending girls and women to work for nothing in laundries run by Catholic orders, a landmark report published Tuesday concluded.

The report by Irish Senator Martin McAleese found that orphans and abused, neglected or unruly children were among more than 10,000 sent to the Magdalen Laundries from 1922 to 1996.

Some had committed minor crimes, others were simply homeless or poor. Women with mental or physical disabilities and some people with psychiatric illness also found themselves in the laundries.

Their average age, the report found, was 23, but the youngest child was just nine and the oldest known entrant was 89.

Through 1996.  That was 17 years ago.  And the government actively sent women and children to the laundries.  The Irish are turning away from their faith faster than almost any other nationality.  The church with its neverending priestly pedophile scandal and in Ireland the laundries has tarnished its reputation perhaps beyond repair.  Now word comes out that government played an active role in sending people to the laundries?  That’s gonna secularize folks as they realize the alliance of church and state is unhealthy.

I realize my experience with Catholic priests and nuns was exceptionally positive and I’m starting to realize that I was apparently incredibly fortunate.


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