Arts, Culture & Media

Irish Government Admits Role in Magdalene Laundries


Mary Fenton (Photo: Leo Hornak)

The Irish government has acknowledged that it played a major role in running the infamous Magdalene Laundries.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Thousands of women and girls were locked up against their will, and forced to perform unpaid labor in workhouses managed by Catholic nuns.

The popular notion was that many were prostitutes or unwed mothers.

Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Mary Fenton.

She was just 16 when she was sent to the Magdalene Laundries.

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    A ledger from the Hyde Park Magdalene Laundry showing payments for services, is seen on display during a "Magdalene Survivors Together" news conference in Dublin February 5, 2013. An official report said on Tuesday the Irish state was responsible for sending many women and girls to the now-notorious "Magdalene Laundries", where they were subjected to a harsh regime of intimidation, prayer and unpaid work. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton (IRELAND - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION SOCIETY) - RTR3DDUY