Magdalene laundries


Sir, – It was great to witness the events surrounding the special reception for women who worked in the Magdalene laundries (News, June 5th) and the two-day event in Dublin. This society (church, State and culture) needs to take responsibility for institutional abuse. However, “respectable” Ireland is still actively resistant to the truth that has (and continues) to emerge through commissions of inquiry.

In 2011 a marble statue (of a mother, baby and nun) was erected on the gable-end of the former industrial school in Ennis with an inscription – in appreciation to the Sisters of Mercy in Ennis since 1854. There is no mention that this was the site of the local industrial school.

A laundry also operated from the same site ran by the Sisters of Mercy (who are named in both the Ryan and McAleese reports).

In 2015 Ennis Municipal District Council felt confident enough to rename a road that ran through this same site in honour of the same order. These actions in Clare are an attempt to maintain the “charitable” myth for an order that profited while those women and children in their care suffered. – Yours, etc,


Department of

Applied Social Studies,

Cork Institute

of Technology,

Bishopstown, Cork.