Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Irish PM apologises for Magdalene Laundries

The Irish Taoiseach has apologised for the harsh treatment given to 10,000 women stigmatised as "fallen women" who were made to work in the Magdalene Laundries run by the Roman Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland. The laundries were essentially workhouses which existed from the 1920s to 1996. The BBC has the story at

I was asked about this a few day's ago by someone whose mother worked in the laundries, who wanted to locate records of her time there, and found a research guide which might help, written by a group called Justice for Magdalenes. It is located at The introduction states the following:

The purpose of this Research Guide is to assist Magdalene survivors in obtaining their records and, where possible, availing of the Residential Institutions Redress Board. Justice for Magdalenes is committed to its campaign to achieve a distinct Redress Scheme for Magdalene survivors, but in the meantime we wish to provide whatever assistance we can to survivors to avail of what is possible under the current system.

We hope that this guide will be of assistance to you and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at info @ or 086-4059491 (+35386-4059491 from outside Ireland).

We have provided some sample letters for you below, but if you would like us to check anything for you before you send it out, please don’t hesitate to ask.

If you lost a child or children to adoption contact Adoption Rights Alliance at 086-2359127 (+35386-2359127 from outside Ireland) or at for information on supports available and on how to trace if you so desire.

If you wish to track down any of the women you were in the laundry with, please see our Research Guide for Relatives of Magdalene Women, which should help you in your efforts.

I don't know anything about the group, but hope the guide might help if you are in the same boat.


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