Irish Government Admits Role in Magdalene Laundries by The World published on 2013/02/06 22:36:20 +0000 The Irish government has acknowledged that it played a major role in running the infamous Magdalene Laundries. Thousands of women and girls were locked up against their will, and forced to perform unpaid labor in workhouses managed by Catholic nuns. The popular notion was that many were prostitutes or unwed mothers. Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Mary Fenton. She was just 16 when she was sent to the Magdalene Laundries.