Oct 7, 2009

Justice for the Magdalene survivors

I've a new post up at GlobalComment

It’s 1967. You are fourteen and you sneak out to the cinema which has just opened. You are so excited to see the moving picture that your leg bounces up and down as you wait in line. It is a wonderful experience, and you sneak back into your house, prepared to reflect on it for days to come.

Then, you are caught and physically examined to ensure your enduring virginal state. No matter what the doctor finds, it is too late. You have disgraced your family you are sent to a Catholic laundry to work from dawn to dusk. You wash filthy clothes, make lace handkerchiefs and linen tablecloths for export for profit but you see none of the money. You cannot leave or escape. You are paid nothing. This is the story of thousands of Irish women and girls in the Magdalene laundries run by the Catholic Church until 1994.

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