Father William Dunne was a former Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Hobart. He bequeathed the greater part of his estate for the establishment of a Magdalen Home, and the Good Shepherd Convent was established for the rehabilitation and moral protection of fallen girls and women. The Convent was named Mount St. Canice in honor of the Patron Saint of Kilkenny, birthplace of Father Dunne. Mount St Canice was opened in 1893 and operated for 88 years until its closure as a Good Shepherd convent in 1981.
Mt St Canice was run on the same principles as the Magdalen laundries of Ireland, as a place women and girls who were perceived to be a disgrace to their families, a black hole to drop them into, where they could be detained indefinitely, some for life, as they slaved in the antiquated laundry for the enrichment of the catholic church. These women and girls were not bad, nor were the deserving of the name penitents, for what had they done to be sorry for, except for being placed in this place of punishment and deprivation. The situation in Ireland continues to be one of denial by the good sisters, while they re-invent history to enhance public perception and promote modern day mythology.
- Merlene Fawdry, February 2013
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