Based on archival records held in Dublin, Caen, Angers and Rome, this book deals with the magdalene asylums, reformatories, industrial schools, hostels and ‘family group homes’ run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Ireland, as well as the convents themselves. It spans the period from the sisters’ arrival in Dublin (from Paris) in 1853 through to the modernisation of the 1970s. It offers a fuller understanding of magdalene laundries and certified schools in Irish social history, the context of their creation, re-modelling and dismantling over time, and the commitment of these sisters to the care of women, girls and children pushed to the margins of society.
Jacinta Prunty is head of the Department of History at Maynooth University, director of the MA in Historical Archives and a member of the editorial board of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas, Royal Irish Academy. A Holy Faith sister, Jacinta has published on the slum geography of nineteenth-century Dublin and the mission of Margaret Aylward (1810-89), foundress of the congregation.