The Shame of Ireland
In 1964, at the age of 12, Maureen Sullivan was illegally incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundry in the Good Shepherd Convent in New Ross.
In her four plus years in the system, she was treated as child slave labour, and was trafficked from one institution to another. For many years afterwards, Maureen’s life was blighted by the consequences of the brutal treatment and cruelty she received at the hands of the nuns in charge of those institutions. But when she reached her 40’s, something incredible happened.
Inspired by the example of people like Christina Noble, Maureen decided that it was time for her to tell her story and to seek justice for what had happened to her and all the other unfortunate women in the Magdalene Laundries. Maureen was prepared to give up everything - her job, her privacy, her home, her savings, her reputation and her comfortable lifestyle - in her quest for justice.
Maureen’s book “The Girl in the Tunnel” tells the story of that long journey to justice. Although the book vividly portrays her horrific times in the Magdalene Laundries, this is not just another misery memoir. Using a wonderful turn of phrase, true to life dialogue, great humour and a cast of captivating characters, Maureen describes how she moved from a background of poverty, abuse, slave labour, sleeping rough, broken marriages and depression to redemption, justice, contentment, acceptance and helping other victims to heal.
Maureen’s tale is one of David versus Goliath, of a few courageous individuals taking on the might of the Irish Church and State, in the search for truth. It is the story that the Irish Church and State don’t want you to hear. Maureen played a leading role in the campaign to secure justice for the Magdalene women. She became the voice and public face of the campaign and helped to bring the plight of the women into the public eye. She has spoken eloquently and movingly about both her time in the Magdalene Laundries and her long battle for justice, including an appearance on The Late, Late Show in February 2013 to discuss the fall-out from the McAleese Report.
"The Girl in the Tunnel" published by Maverick House.
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