The Magdalene Laundry
“Someone once said the only thing really new in the world is the history we don’t know. The Irish people are learning that right now and it’s a painful experience.
It began five years ago when an order of nuns in Dublin sold off part of its convent to real estate developers. On that property were the remains of 133 women buried in unmarked graves, and buried with them was a scandal.
As it turns out, the women had been virtual prisoners, confined by the Catholic Church behind convent walls for perceived sins of the flesh, and sentenced to a life of servitude in something called the Magdalene laundries.
It sounds medieval, something that happened hundreds of years ago, but, in fact, the last Magdalene laundry closed just over two years ago. And as the story was firstly reported in 1999, revelations have shocked the Irish people, embarrassed the Catholic Church and tarnished the country’s image.”
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