We are releasing a booklet today that I wrote, Myths of the Magdalene Laundries, that debunks the conventional wisdom about these Catholic-run facilities in Ireland. Based on the McAleese Report, the Irish government study that was released in February, the booklet examines the origins of the many myths that have surfaced about the laundries.
Virtually all the horror stories that have been told—nuns cruelly torturing and sexually abusing “fallen” women—are lies. Worse, Irish officials, such as the current prime minister, Enda Kenny, continue to misinform the public, even in the face of indisputable evidence. Media outlets, the BBC and the New York Times, in particular, refuse to discuss the McAleese Report, leaving the impression that the falsehoods told by Peter Mullan in his propaganda film, “The Magdalene Sisters,” offers an accurate picture of what happened.
Copies are being widely distributed to the media, Irish historical societies, Irish fraternal and sororal groups, the clergy—including all the bishops—and those who made a donation to cover the costs of publishing and distributing the booklet.
Fair criticism of the Magdalene Laundries, or any other Catholic institution, is not only acceptable, it is welcome. That’s the only way progress can be made. But agit-prop films, and agenda-driven activists and writers, must be challenged. The truth is we’ve been lied to about the Magdalene Laundries, and it’s time to set the record straight.
Copies are available to the public for $5 per booklet; send to Catholic League, 450 7th Avenue, 34th floor, NY, NY 10123.