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Ending myths about Ireland's Magdalene Laundries

Catholic World News - June 17, 2011

The revelations about abuse that occurred in Ireland's Magdalene Laundry system have given rise to several myths about the institutions, notes David Quinn in a column for the Independent.

Setting out to expose those myths, Quinn notes that the Magdalene Laundry system was not established by the Catholic Church in Ireland; was not a system unique to Ireland; was not primarily for unwed mothers; and catered mostly to women who entered voluntarily.

The abuses in the system were real, Quinn says. But the discussions about accountability should not be based on false readings of the institutions' history.

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