"Women who had their childhoods ‘stolen away’, locked up in Catholic-run workhouses received a qualified apology from the Irish government ... Over a period of 70 years, an estimated 10,000 were sent to the ‘Magdalene laundries’ to carry out unpaid manual labour under the supervision of nuns."
"Some were sent because they were the children of unmarried mothers, others for crimes as minor as not paying a train ticket.
Survivors of the Catholic-run institutions have asked for a fuller and more frank admission from government and the religious orders involved."
"Incredibly the last of the ten laundries, which washed clothes and linen for major hotel groups, the Irish armed forces and even the brewer Guinness, was in operation until 1996. They were established in 1922."
"The move follows an 18-month inquiry chaired by senator Martin McAleese which found one in four of the women sent to the laundries had been sent by the state."