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The founder of the Aedrom Group, the organisation which seemingly wanted justice for Lorna and all of the other women who had their babies taken from them and were forced to work in the laundries, actually ran the trafficking ring alongside the late Father Percy.
The pair took “donations” from the adoptive families, and that money was used to destroy evidence by restoring and refurbishing key sites where their crimes were committed, such as former children’s hospitals and the mother and baby homes.
Of the 298 children at the Kilkinure convent, 208 were stolen and sold and three have official burial records, which leaves 87 children unaccounted for. It’s believed they died and were buried in secret on site.
With Lorna and Colman eventually joining forces to uncover the horrifying scandal, the net began to tighten around Coyle and his associates as the series headed into the finale.
But was he held accountable? And what were the fates of Lorna’s child and Aoife Cassidy? Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of The Woman in the Wall’s final episode.
The Woman in the Wall ending explained
Who killed Father Percy?
Aoife paid Percy a visit the night he died to confront him about his criminal enterprise. It was there that she came across a box containing letters of thanks from the adoptive parents, Christmas cards from the stolen children, and the false death certificates.
“If anyone came looking for these children, I had to make sure no one would find them,” he said. “I had to protect them. We saved these children, sister. You should be proud of the work you did.”
But Aoife was ashamed.
“You’re mad in the head,” she responded. “You’re deluded. We didn’t save anyone. We disappeared these children.”
She grabbed the damning evidence and ran for the exit, but Percy chased her and attempted to snatch it back. After a brief tussle, he tumbled to the bottom of the stairs.
At first, it looked like the fall had killed him, but as Aoife fled with the papers, he emitted a cough.
We weren’t privy to what happened next, but Colman deduced that the priest had contacted Coyle to inform him that their secret was in danger of being exposed. Concerned that Percy had become a liability, Coyle enlisted a woman called Lesley, who had previously paid Lorna a visit pretending to be Aoife’s daughter, to head over to Percy’s house and silence him.
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While that was happening, Coyle was giving a talk in front of almost 200 people, thus giving him a rock solid alibi.
Was James Coyle held accountable for his crimes?
After a tense chase, which involved Colman being slashed with a knife, he apprehended Lesley and she was arrested.
During a conversation with the detective, it was clear that she had been indoctrinated by Coyle, the pair smiling at one another from a distance before she was taken to the station.
As the final credits rolled, the police had yet to arrest Coyle or any of the others involved – and it’s unknown how many people were part of the trafficking ring. But Sergeant Massey made it clear to Sister Eileen that those responsible would be held accountable, one way or another.
“I’ll be seeing you…soon,” he said.
What happened to Aoife Cassidy?
When Lorna placed Aoife inside the walls of her home, she not only believed that she was dead, but that she’d possibly killed her while sleepwalking or during her alcohol-induced state following the incident at the pub. But Aoife was very much alive.
She suffered with catalepsy, a rare side effect of untreated epilepsy that’s trigged by high emotional stress. After suffering an episode, it can give the appearance of death.
She woke up inside the wall of Lorna’s house and managed to climb into her loft, where she later died.
“I killed her,” said Lorna. “I didn’t mean to, but I did.”
But before Aoife shuffled off this mortal coil, she had begun the process of contacting the women from the mother and baby home to inform them about the fate of their children – subsequently set the ball rolling on exposing Coyle and Percy’s heinous enterprise.
Colman pleaded with Lorna to say that she wasn’t of sound mind when she hid Aoife’s body, but the seamstress was tired (both literally and metaphorically) of being labelled “mad” and she accepted her punishment.
Massey arrested her and she was later incarcerated. But there was a wonderful surprise in store for her.
What happened to Lorna’s daughter?
When Colman visited Lorna in prison, he had some very good news to impart.
“Do you remember the payments in the church accounts books?” he asked. “Some of them were weird amounts, like Agnes’s.”
Her adoptive parents donated £10,887.09 for her, a figure Lorna remembered exactly.
That odd sum was a result of the currency exchange, with the figure converted from pounds to dollars.
St Alma’s Primary School, which Lorna had previously, used to be a processing centre where children were housed while the nuns got their papers and passports in order before being taken overseas, with Agnes raised in Boston, Massachusetts.
Her family had told her that she was adopted and she’d been looking for her birth mother. But that wasn’t all.
Colman had also arranged a call between the two and just before we left Lorna, she finally came face to face with her child.
Scores of women were not given that opportunity, such as Clemence, who took her own life before she had a chance to meet Breda. But for Lorna, while she’ll never be able to forget the past or reclaim the time she lost with Agnes, they are at least now part of one another’s lives.
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