David Quinn: Magdalene inquiry must lift veil and uncloak anti-Catholic myths
Published 17/06/2011 | 05:00
If you were to ask a member of the public about the Magdalene Laundries they would probably tell you one or other of these three things.
First, the Magdalene homes were a Catholic invention. Secondly, they were an invention specifically of Catholic Ireland. Third, they were established to punish unmarried mothers for having had sex outside marriage.
None of these three 'facts' are true. Instead they belong to something called 'Myth-History', that is, a version of history that has been concocted out of parts of the truth and that suits a particular ideological point of view, in this case that Catholic Ireland was a uniquely cruel and awful place.