Statue to women of Magdalen Laundry to be unveiled on Sunday

It is merely coincidental that the statue of the distraught impoverished woman is located outside the Anglo Irish Bank office?

It is merely coincidental that the statue of the distraught impoverished woman is located outside the Anglo Irish Bank office?

A statue in remembrance of the women who had to endure life in the Magdalen Laundry in Galway will be unveiled the weekend.

The statue was created by Mick Wilkins and commissioned by the Galway City Council. Entitled Final Journey, it will be unveiled on Sunday - International Women’s Day - by the Mayor of Galway Cllr Padraig Conneely at 1pm at the junction of Forster Street and Bóthar Breandán Ó Eithir.

The guest speakers will be Chris Coughlan and John Coyle from the Amicable Society and there will be poetry from Patrica Burke Brogan.

The Galway Magdalen Laundry used to stand at the bottom of College Road, across from the Fair Green. It was demolished in the 1990s.

Such institutions were originally intended as places of short term stay for the rehabilitation of prostitutes. However they quickly and notoriously became long term stay institutions for prostitutes and unmarried mothers, with inmates forced to undertake hard physical labour.

“The sculpture will honour Galway’s Magdalen women,” said Labour Cllr Billy Cameron, “and I particularly welcome its unveiling.”

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