English around us

A world of words


laundriesA business which washes clothes, sheets, etc. for customers.

The Irish government has finally said sorry to 10,000 women and girls incarcerated in Catholic Church-run laundries where they were treated as virtual slaves. While some of the women were unwed mothers, the majority were placed there due to mental illness or physical disability, homelessness or petty offenses.

The apology in the  Irish parliament came about two weeks after a damning 1,000-page report was released detailing the way women and girls were maltreated inside the nun-controlled laundries.

“Maggies” (as the girls and women in the laundries were called) were shorn of all rights. They were forced to work day in and day out doing laundry (including that of major hotel groups and the Irish armed forces) and denied any contact with the outside world and  with their families.

Music:”The Magdalene laundries” by Joni Mitchell

(Click on POST ACTIVITIES to see the lyrics)

Survivor Maureen Taylor talks of her experience in a clip from the documentary “The Forgotten Maggies”.


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This entry was posted on 22/02/2013 by in Human Rights, Reading, Social Issues.
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