Southern Religion

Joni Mitchell sings of the Magdalene Laundries

Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, run by the Catholic Church, where women worked in slave-like conditions. The plight of those women was brought to wide attention in 1993 by the discovery of a mass grave of 155 unidentified women on land that the Good Shepherd nuns from High Park Convent had sold to a developer.

There were more than a dozen “laundries,” where women were subjected to extraordinary abuse. The last one closed on September 25, 1996 and the living survivors are scarred and seeking a measure of belated justice.

Columnist Sharon Owens wrote last week for the Belfast Telegraph:

At Christmas time I sometimes hanker after Midnight Mass, but the hankering diminishes when I think of the 155 nameless ‘Maggies’ of Drumcondra in Dublin whose bones were cremated to make way for a property sale.

That’s the reality of the Catholic Church. Never mind the Virgin Mary and her precious boy child. When they finally tell us the identities of the 155 ‘Maggies’ who were taken from that unmarked grave in Drumcondra and reduced to ashes, I may reconsider my position.


January 5, 2010 - Posted by | Catholic |

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