Fintan O’Toole: How to honour our unshamed Magdalenes
The last Magdalene laundry, which shut only in 1996, should become a memorial centre
In September 1966, one GC Duggan of Killiney wrote a letter to The Irish Times reminiscing about the old shops in the well-to-do Dublin suburb of Donnybrook: “Field, the butcher, was there too, and in a side-street, Darcy the dairyman. A post office at the Donnybrook fair end, the Magdalen (sic) Asylum, and Cornelius Kennedy’s public house round off my memories.”
The butcher, the dairyman, the post office, the pub – oh, and the huge institution in which women were incarcerated, shamed and forced to do menial and unpaid labour.