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On 25th September 1996 the last of the Magdalen Asylums in Ireland was closed. Magdalen Asylums grew out of the `rescue movement` in Britain and Ireland the 19th century, which had as its formal goal the rehabilitation of women who had worked as prostitutes. It has been estimated that around 30,000 women were admitted during the 150-year history of these institutions, often against their will. The last Magdalen Asylum in Ireland closed on September 25, 1996. In Ireland, the institutions were named for Mary Magdalene, a character in the Bible who repented her sins and became one of Jesus' closest followers. Read more