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Republic of Shame Reviews

Republic of Shame by Caelainn Hogan

Republic of Shame: Stories from Ireland's Institutions for 'Fallen Women'

Caelainn Hogan

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Penguin Ireland
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 5 Sep 2019
ISBN: 9781844884452

Until alarmingly recently, the Catholic Church, acting in concert with the Irish state, operated a network of institutions for the concealment, punishment and exploitation of 'fallen women'. 

4 stars out of 5
29 Sep 2019

"Read this book now"

I had to keep taking deep breaths, in and out, as I read this book, such was the seething energy of it. It knocked me sideways. Of course it did. These are stories that bolt out of their stall. There’s no way to tell them quietly. Still, there must be a calmness, a steeliness to the way they are handled, and Hogan has this in spades. “No one can give anyone a voice,” she asserts. “Space must be made for voices to be heard.” So, she stands aside and listens.


3 stars out of 5
Melanie McDonagh
14 Sep 2019

"An account of the notorious Magdalene laundries makes harrowing reading."

The best chapter is based on transcripts of an interview recorded by a former worker in a home in Tuam, Co Galway, which is a place notorious for children’s bodies having been interred in what seems to have been a collective and unmarked grave. This woman gives a spirited account of the indignities to which she and the residents (penitents, they were called) were subjected and her attempts at escape. As she observes, the nuns who ran the place did not serve God so much as Galway county council.