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Catholic World News

Irish premier offers government's apology to Magdalen Laundry victims

February 20, 2013

Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny has issued a formal apology on behalf of the government to the women who were confined in the Magdalene Laundries.

Reports of abuse at the Magdalene Laundries—which were institutions for troubled young women—shocked Ireland, and drew heavy criticism down on the Catholic religious orders that administered the institutions. But a recent independent report confirmed that the Irish government bore responsibility for assigning young women to the homes, and failed to supervise their care.

In his apology Kenny said that the abuse at the Magdalene Laundries reflected an overall failure of Irish society. ‘‘By any standards it was a cruel, pitiless Ireland, distinctly lacking in a quality of mercy,’’ he said.


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