The Irish government has finally admitted, after years of denial, that the State colluded with the Catholic Church to incarcerate women for the crime of being too pretty, of being attractive to men, of being raped, of being sexually abused, of being the child of an unwed mother, or of being poor.
The government wanted to create a better society, one in which poverty could be wiped out be removing children from their parents and re-training them. They wanted to eliminate immorality by locking up the women who were deemed immoral, so that the ladies could see the error of their ways and repent.
It was done with the best of intentions.
So when someone from the government tells you what is best for society, that some nameless bureaucrats are the ultimate arbiters of how you should eat, of how you should be treated by a physician, of how you should live your life, remember the fate of the thousands of Irish women who marched along the road to hell that was paved by the Irish government.
It was done with the best of intentions, putting women away for not living as the government believed they ought to. For not toeing the line that Irish society had drawn, guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The story is told in the pages of THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES. The cold, harsh facts are detailed in the report on the Magdalene Laundries that was released yesterday.
It is a tale of the government trying to control a portion of the population, and it is a sad litany of all the unintended consequences that were ignored until the victims of the abuse could not be ignored any longer.
All done with the best of intentions. The unintended consequences, however, are devestating.