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Magdalene Laundries

"The nightmares will always be there": These Magdalene survivors tell their personal stories

We spoke to four survivors who told us their personal stories of their time in the laundries.

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AROUND 220 WOMEN, now in their 80s, were in Dublin this week as part of the Dublin Honours Magdalenes event, which saw them attend events at Áras an Uachtarán and the Mansion House.

At a special reception President Michael D Higgins told a group of Magdalene laundry survivors that Ireland failed them:

The treatment of vulnerable citizens in our industrial and reformatory schools, in the Magdalene Laundries and in Mother and Baby Homes represents a deep stain on Ireland’s past, a stain we can only regard today with great shame, profound regret and horror.

Magdalene Laundries were institutions run by the Catholic Church which took in so-called ‘fallen women’ and gave them manual labour to do. Many survivors said they were cruelly and brutally treated during their time there, with reports of women being beaten, put into solitary confinement, their hair cut, threatened, and verbally abused.

We spoke to four women who told their stories of how they came to be working in the laundries.

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