Apology for workhouse women

The Irish Government has apologised to the thousands of women locked up in Catholic-run workhouses known as Magdalene laundries between 1922 and 1996. Records have confirmed 10,012 women spent time in the workhouses across the country.

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In numbers: The Magdalene laundries scandal

The inquiry into Magdalene laundries found the following statistics:

  • Around 50% of the girls and women put to work were under the age of 23.
  • 40% - more than 4,000 - spent more than a year incarcerated.
  • Some 15% spent more than five years while the average stay has been calculated at seven months.
  • The youngest death on record was 15 and the oldest 95.
  • Some of the women were sent to laundries more than once - records show a total of 14,607 admissions, and a total of 8,025 known reasons for being sent to a laundry.

The statistics outlined in the report are based on records of only eight of the 10 laundries with the Sisters of Mercy operated Dun Laoghaire and Galway missing from the records.

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