Conventos De Vergüenza is a documentary produced by French filmmakers in 1998 with a title that translates as convents of shame.
It reveals through interviews with survivors how tens of thousands of ordinary young women and girls were condemned to exile within their own country, Ireland.
Most of them were ‘unmarried mothers’, many others orphans. In the eyes of the Catholic Ireland of their time, they were sinners. One of the interviewees, a woman called Angela said:
It was a terrible shame you brought on your family and the nuns repeatedly told us, over and over again that we were there to do penance for our sin.
To atone for their ‘mistakes’, they were shut up in convents of various denominations under the strict authority of nuns. Some of them stayed there for life.