Category Archives: Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Roman Catholic Horrors: Magdalene Launderies and Asylums


Roman Catholic Horrors: Magdalene Launderies and Asylums

• Originally termed Magdalene Asylums the first in Ireland was opened in Dublin in 1765, for Protestant girls • First Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809 • Envisaged as short-term refuges for 'fallen women' they became long-term institutions and penitents were required to work, mostly in laundries on the premises • They extended to take in unmarried mothers, women with learning difficulties and girls who had been abused • The facilities were self-supporting and the money generated by the laundries paid for them • Between 1922 and 1996 there were 10 such laundries in the Republic of Ireland • Many Irish institutions, such as the army, government departments, hotels and even Guinness had contracts with Magdalene laundries • The women toiled behind locked doors unable to leave after being admitted and while the laundries were paid, they received no wages • The last Magdalene asylum in Ireland, in Waterford, closed in 1996 • The congregations which ran them were the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

• Originally termed Magdalene Asylums the first in Ireland was opened in Dublin in 1765, for Protestant girls
• First Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809
• Envisaged as short-term refuges for ‘fallen women’ they became long-term institutions and penitents were required to work, mostly in laundries on the premises
• They extended to take in unmarried mothers, women with learning difficulties and girls who had been abused
• The facilities were self-supporting and the money generated by the laundries paid for them
• Between 1922 and 1996 there were 10 such laundries in the Republic of Ireland
• Many Irish institutions, such as the army, government departments, hotels and even Guinness had contracts with Magdalene laundries
• The women toiled behind locked doors unable to leave after being admitted and while the laundries were paid, they received no wages
• The last Magdalene asylum in Ireland, in Waterford, closed in 1996
• The congregations which ran them were the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

 

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