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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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Inquiry's findings into everyday life in a laundry

The inquiry found the following about everyday life in a laundry:

  • It reported, a harsh and physically demanding environment with a cold atmosphere and a rigid uncompromising work and prayer regime.
  • Both verbal and psychological abuse was common.
  • It was rare for a woman to have her head shaved as punishment but they had their hair cut back short in a bob.

More than 100 women were spoken to by the inquiry committee, more than half of whom are in nursing homes.

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