'I shed a tear, it was lovely' - Magdalene survivors honoured in Dublin

People gathered and cheered on the women at the Mansion House

'I shed a tear, it was lovely' - Magdalene survivors honoured in Dublin

Judy Ivors | Image: Stephanie Grogan

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries say they cannot believe the warm welcome they have received during a two-day event in Dublin.

The State has been honouring around 200 women who were forced to live and work at the facilities.

People gathered and cheered on the women as they arrived at the Mansion House in Dublin on Tuesday night.

Pictured are Magdalene Survivors, with family members, arriving at Áras an Uachtarain to attend a special reception hosted by President Higgins for women who worked in the Magdalene Laundries, as part of the Dublin Honours Magdalenes event | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Judy Ivors was sent to a laundry in Cork in the 1960s for a number of reasons - including kissing a boy and pushing a nun.

She says watching people clap for her and other survivors was incredible.

Pictured are Magdalene Survivors, with family members, arriving at Áras an Uachtarain to attend a special reception hosted by President Higgins for women who worked in the Magdalene Laundries, as part of the Dublin Honours Magdalenes event | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

"It was lovely to see all the women out, and they all came over and hugged us and shook hands.

"And I said to some of the men, it's lovely to see the men there, I shed a tear.. it was lovely now, lovely".

Judy, who is originally from Tipperary, remembers being taken to the laundry.

"I cried and cried the whole way down because I knew I was going some place, but didn't know where.

"So went in and you change your clothes into an old Magdalene dress - long sleeves and a belt around", she shudders as she recalls.

"But anyway, they said to me 'You have to get your hair cut' - that beautiful hair, down to my waist".

President Michael D Higgins with (l to r) Mairead Manley and her twin sister Breda Kennedy, who were former residents in the Goldenbridge orphanage | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Patricia O'Connor, who is originally from Limerick, was also sent to a Magdalene Laundry in Cork.

She said seeing people cheer for her has been unbelievable.

"To see young men, women and children especially putting their hand in the railing and putting out their hand to catch yours - it was amazing.

"And there was hundreds and hundreds from Dublin (who) came out there to support us which was great".