Many Magdalene women spent decades in laundries

Irish Examiner

By Claire O’Sullivan
Irish Examiner Reporter

A grave just discovered by the Justice for Magdalenes group shows that, in one plot in North Dublin alone, a third of the woman buried remained at the Magdalene laundry for more than 50 years.

Such discoveries, which form part of the Justice for Magdalenes Research Graves Project, are in contrast to the findings of the McAleese report into the Magdalene laundries which stated that the median length of stay for the women was 27 weeks.

The interdepartmental report also stated that 60% of the women at the laundries from 1922 to 1996 stayed less than a year at the laundries — figures which have been hotly contested.

According to Claire McGettrick of Justice for Magdalenes, the deaths of women who never left the laundries and remained living with the nuns, in many cases working in the convents, after 1996 were not included in the 2013 McAleese report.

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