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Political Apologies and Reparations Document List Details

Ireland apologises for ‘slave labour’ at Magdalene Laundries

Author: Henry McDonald
Source: The Guardian (Link)
Date: 08 May 2013
View Related Articles
Document Type: Press
Donor: Ireland Event Date: 08 May 2013
Recipient: Women in Magdalene Laundries Reparation Date: 19 February 2013

Magdalene laundries in Ireland were run from 1922-1996 by the Catholic Church.  Young girls and women who were pregnant outside of marriage, deemed likely to become pregnant outside of marriage, troubled, or believed to be inconsistent with society by the Catholic Church and/or Irish state were sent to the laundries for reformation and to provide unpaid labour.  Approximately 10,000 Irish women were incarcerated in these places.  The laundries utilized the slave labour of the incarcerated women to do laundry while the women received no compensation for their work.  The living conditions in the Laundries were physically and mentally degrading, abusive, and caused physical and mental trauma for the women incarcerated.  The Magdalene Laundries were run by Catholic nuns for church profit.  


Apology delivered, memorial forthcoming, reparations forthcoming


Following a 1,000 page report detailing the suffering of women in the Magdalene Laundries and complicity of the Irish state, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny formally apologised for the suffering inflicted upon the women incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries.  He also offered the construction of a memorial and reparations of counselling services, health care, and individual payments to approximately 800 living survivors of the Laundries.  



Magdalene, Magdalene Laundries, Ireland, Kennedy, Enda Kennedy, apology, reparation, memorial