「Swaddlea」by Becky O’Brien

Studio Kuraでは、アイルランド出身のアーティストBecky O’Brien


The Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, also known as Magdalene asylums, were institutions run by the Roman Catholic church, which operated from the 18th to the late 20th centuries. They were run ostensibly to house “fallen women”, an estimated 30,000 of whom were confined in these institutions in Ireland. Originally set up for sex workers, women who were sent to these homes were often pregnant outside of wedlock, although there are many accounts of women being deemed as flirtatious or even just considered pretty in the community and therefore needed to be locked up to prevent them from becoming sexually active. Women were locked in these places for years, even for the entirety of their lives.

In the laundries the women were used as slave labour for the catholic church and endured sexual, psychological and physical abuse. If they had a baby it was taken from them at birth and often sold to American couples hoping to adopt a baby or otherwise abused in Mother and Baby homes. In one of these such homes 796 childrens bodies were recently found in a mass grave in a disused sewage tank. These children were mistreated until death, some only weeks old. Undocumented mass graves have been a factor on several occasions in these laundries. In 1993, unmarked graves of 155 women were uncovered in the convent grounds of one of the laundries.The last of the Magdeline laundries were closed in 1994 and the Mother and baby homes in 2006, I personally have friends who were born in these institutions.

The catholic church are still yet to make any apology for these years of abuse to both women and children and 90% of schools are catholic run, even though state funded. This work acts as both a funeral for the 796 still unexcavated babies who were found in a mass grave in an Irish Magdeline laundry and are still yet to be given a proper burial, and also a cleansing of the ongoing cultural shame and catholic guilt felt by Irish women today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *