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Do Penance or PerishMagdalen Asylums in Ireland$
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Frances Finnegan

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174601.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2021

“Never Free from Their Espionage”

“Never Free from Their Espionage”

The Good Shepherd Magdalen Asylums

(p.20) 2 “Never Free from Their Espionage”
Do Penance or Perish

Frances Finnegan

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the origins and motivations of the French Good Shepherd Sisters. The newly admitted penitent is exposed to the nun who has dedicated her life to the service of God in a Magdalen Asylum. The Order's first Magdalen Asylum in Ireland was opened in Limerick in 1848, followed by Houses in Waterford (1858), New Ross (1860) and Belfast (1867). The opening of the Government Lock Hospital in Cork in 1869 led in the Order's fifth and largest Irish Foundation. In the Good Shepherd Asylums, an individual's identity was further suppressed by the Order's universal practice of assigning new names to inmates as soon as they arrived. The Good Shepherd rules advocated strict surveillance at all times. A disturbing aspect of Rescue Work that is specifically performed in Ireland and associated with the Good Shepherds was the long-term consignment of unmarried mothers, and other “first fall” cases, to institutions primarily established for prostitutes undergoing reform.

Keywords:   French Good Shepherd Sisters, Magdalen Asylum, Good Shepherd rule, Rescue Work, surveillance

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