Consequently, the physical and moral contact that existed between these two antagonistic categories of women, inevitably led to regular confrontation. The Channel 4 documentary Sex in a Cold Climate interviewed former inmates of Magdalene Asylums who testified to continued sexualpsychological and physical abuse while being isolated from the outside world for an indefinite amount of time.
The full extent of the abuse they suffered — psychological, physical and in some cases sexual — emerged to a horrified Irish public. Beyond its moral and religious dimension, the Magdalenist regime was fraught with class prejudice, as most women held against their will in the laundries were from a deprived social background—a reminder that poverty was associated with immorality.
Burke-Brogan had worked in the laundries in the s. Bridget Rodgers spent the next 30 years of her life locked away in one institution or another, including the Magdalen Laundries.
In more than a few cases, this sadly lead to abuse. Failure to do so may result in the Ireland of modernity—that of the Celtic Tiger, digital industry multinational and grassroots movements standing up for same-sex marriage and the repeal of the 8th amendment—entirely forsaking some of the darkest hours in its past.