BOOKS: Love and Loss as a Survivor of the Magdelene Laundries


Girl in the Tunnel
My Story of Love and Loss as a Survivor of the Magdelene Laundries
Maureen Sullivan

When Maureen Sullivan was just twelve years old, she confided in her teacher that she was being physically and sexually abused by her stepfather. Never, in her darkest imaginings, could she have dreamt that she would be the one who would face a harrowing punishment.

Within twenty-four hours, Maureen was taken from her home and her beloved grandmother, and sent to the Magdalene Laundry in New Ross, Co. Wexford, run by the Order of the Good Shepherd nuns. She was told that she would receive an education there, but instead she was immediately stripped of her meagre possessions and thrown into forced labour, washing clothes and scrubbing floors in inhumane and unrelenting conditions. Not allowed to speak, barely fed, and often going without water, the child was viciously beaten by the nuns for years and hidden away in an underground tunnel when government inspectors came. No one must see how cruelly the nuns were treating her.

In the heart-breaking Girl in the Tunnel, Maureen bravely recounts her agonising journey from a monstrously violent home to the cold and brutal Magdalene laundry system, and her desperate, gruelling fight for freedom and for justice.

Paperback • €16.99 | £14.99 •  256 pages •  234 mm x 153 mm • 9781785374524

On Sale 13 April 2023
€16.99 | £14.99

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About the Author
Maureen Sullivan grew up in Carlow town. When she was just twelve years old she was placed in the Magdalene Laundry at New Ross, County Wexford, where she was forced to work long hours scrubbing floors and washing clothes, and denied an education. After two years she was transferred to another laundry in Athy, County Kildare and then to a school for blind people in Dublin. After she left the school, she returned to Carlow before moving to England. She is now an advocate for other survivors.

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