Mmm, this was all over the news at the time and discussed constantly. It's yet another stain on Ireland's past that was concealed and unmentioned and only recently has come to light.
The "special position" of the Catholic Church in Ireland allowed some truly horrific abuses to be carried out. But then - as alluded to in the article - the blame can't be put simply on the church or on the complicit state. The women who ended up in these homes and had their children taken from them, and the women who were sent to the laundries - they all had families. They were thrown out in disgrace and abandoned by those closest to them for committing the sin of extramarital sex. And the men they slept with typically walked away scot-free.
We've come a long way in a fairly short time. It's not many years since these institutions were still running, since married women couldn't hold public sector jobs, and in general since women's lives were in many ways subordinate to those of their husbands.
I don't know what's worse - that people were forced to go to these places and separated from their children, or that the children were treated so badly not only for what can hardly be considered a "crime", but for one that they had no part in.