Ireland apologises for Magdalene laundries

Two weeks after an official report revealed that the Irish government was deeply involved in the incarceration of women in the Magdalene laundries, Prime Minister Enda Kenny has made an emotional state apology.

“By any standards it was a cruel, pitiless Ireland, distinctly lacking in a quality of mercy,” Kenny said, as dozens of former Magdalenes watched tearfully from parliament’s public gallery overhead.

Kenny told lawmakers his government has appointed a senior judge to recommend an aid programme for the approximately 1000 women still living from the residential workhouses, and pledged government funding for a national memorial.

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