‘Diluting And Bulldozing Parts Of Our History’


Last night.

An RTÉ News report by Sharon Ní Bheoláin on the last remaining magdalene laundry on Sean McDermott Street, Dublin 1.

It followed the decision made last week by Dublin City Council to preserve the site based on a motion put forward by Social Democrats Cllr Gary Gannon, for Dublin’s North Inner City, to stop the sale of the site to a Japanese hotel chain.


In response, Mr Gannon tweeted:

Previously: A Constant Reminder

25 thoughts on “‘Diluting And Bulldozing Parts Of Our History’

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Not a hotel, nor a depressing ‘memorial’ please. I would like to see a continuing educational centre like a library and workshop venue – giving back the right of fair education to those that suffered within the Laundries and providing for future generations. Maybe then our nation will never be brainwashed and bullied into submission again.

    1. stephen

      And why not a depressing memorial to the abuse the church did against vulnerable hand and glove with the state
      These women and children must be remembered
      In less than a decade we will not find one survivor and this will be forgotten if the government has its way for it stains us as a nation
      I suppose its grand for you to think the famine memorials are kept because the Brits did it to us
      But we are talking of innocents that were abused by our state and the catholic religion
      So lets then get rid of the famine memorials

  2. The One

    What was done to the women and their children in these and other places such as mother and baby homes was akin to a slow holocaust.

    And plenty of the so called respectable classes knew about it and were complicit in it, despite their well connected children in media and politics pretending otherwise.

    We need several memorials to those helpless victims. The idea of mothers and their babies suffering in those places does bring tears to my eyes.

    And will anyone ever serve a prison sentence for child trafficking, wilful neglect, murder, concealing a death, illegal burial of human remains?

    1. postmanpat

      Modern practicing Catholics ,even the flaky pick’n’mix types that tick the census box are still complicit in the current monstrous acts of the church worldwide. They want a memorial so they can box off that guilt and still practice the old christenings and weddings, guilt free, while an empty memorial will run at a loss the states expense. Meanwhile the church will rampage across the less reported corners of the world while the smug Irish go back to communion because they have their stupid little monument and think they’re living in a new progressive world with a new and improved progressive church that behaves itself in the rest of the word the way it behaves here now.

    2. stephen

      Its time that all those involved were named so history will show who facilitated that evil
      I honestly think it should be renovated and used as a working example of the horrors this state colluded in
      The victims are owed this
      A fitting thing to do would be including a wall of shame of those who were involved alongside the victims
      I am Jewish and we have our Auschwitz to forever be a reminder that what man can.do to his fellow man
      Without this the ghosts of our past will forever haunt us and rightly so

  3. gorugeen

    The Japanese proposal would provide much needed new social housing, employment and investment and a suitable memorial. So instead we get to keep a dilapidated building that does what? Reminds us of the injustice, the torture, slavery, cruelty, loneliness, desperation, tears, shame.
    Yes, the survivors and victims of Magdalene and Mother an Baby homes should be remembered. What was done to them too. But, not the apparatus by which the wrong was committed.
    I’m a survivor of St Patrick’s, Navan Road. I want every component of that apparatus razed, erased from sight. Remember the victims, the survivors and consign the grubby stains on our society to history where they belong.
    Healing never happens while looking back.

    1. Jasper

      I agree with you 100%. However, on a recent trip to Poland I went to visit Auschwitz.

      I had read about it, seen it in movies, learned about it in school, saw pictures online, read countless articles describing the conditions etc…

      There is no real way to steel yourself as you walk through the gate. It was profoundly and deeply upsetting.

      Most of the people who were imprisoned there are now dead, there aren’t many survivors left. It will serve as a reminder to future generations of what can happen when power goes unquestioned.

      I empathise with what you went through. You are totally and unquestionably entitled to demand it brought to rubble. We do, and will remember the victims and survivors. It is when we are all dead and gone that worries me.

      History has a nasty habit of being rewritten. The dumbing down and softening of the horrors can, and has happened before.

      Personally, I think it is important to keep a real and tangible memorial to all that has gone before.

      1. gorugeen

        I thought of Auschwitz. There’s a distinct difference. What this building represents is part of a dying culture which the last two referendums hastened towards obscurity. The mindset that allowed these places to exist is all but gone. Future generations will not revert to said mindset and as such history will not be repeated.
        Auschwitz on the other hand still resonates today. Since it’s liberation Genocide has occurred. Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia all proved that Humanity has not moved on. Racism is on the rise. Extremism flourishes. We have even allowed despotic dictators to rule unmolested. Auschwitz is relevant today and always will be.

  4. A Person

    It’s absolute bs from a local politician trying to get votes. What good will it do to the local community by trying to keep this vacant? Makes my blood boil. Mannix Flynn objected to a memorial in Parnell Square for victims of child abuse on the basis of what? Lets keep a horrible site in Dublin vacant for what? So sick of politicians of pretending to be pc in order to get in the papers.

    1. stephen

      I know mannix for years
      Years ago he told me the hell he went through in letterfrack and he knows only too well about what is fitting
      Wrong site
      This site is where the evil was perpetrated and I agree with him

  5. CoderNerd

    Since the 1916 celebrations, it looks like a lot of our history is being whitewashed. There are many folk up north who feel very strongly about this. This controlling of the narrative is nicely illustrated by Eamonn McCann here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x83lt5zDRbg

    But you can clearly see how the narrative gets written too by RTE in their selective reporting of The Disclosures Tribunal and recent balaclava eviction.

  6. Niamh

    I think Gary Gannon is right and I’m pleased the sale has been blocked for now.

    Mannix Flynn and others opposed the Parnell Square memorial because they felt it was to be a gesture of conclusion marking the end of a certain history, when they knew well at the time that the govt and church were continuing to conceal things, some of which have since come to light, like Tuam. Restitution has not been made and a crime scene remains uninvestigated in Tuam.

    Flynn can be a loose cannon, but he claimed there were unmarked graves in Letterfrack years ago. The Christian Brothers dismissed this claim and no investigation was made. It doesn’t sound so outlandish now.

    There is also a continuum between laundries and borstals and direct provision. There are sound ethical reasons for keeping this conversation open and those buildings preserved.

    If they’re so keen on regeneration and creating employment, what about all those derelict units, privately owned, and rotting in the city centre?

    Do you think they should bulldoze Auswitz and build a budget hotel too?

    1. A Person

      That’s is not right. Mannix Flynn opposed a memorial on public lands for his own publicity. Gannon is doing the same. This site is not Auswitz, but a derelict and vacant site in the city centre. Surely it can be but to better use rather than gob sheen politicians demanding that nothing can happen just for some votes?

      1. stephen

        And if it was not for the Jews Auschwitz in Poland would just be that a vacant site if not developed
        And in Poland if they would of had their way afterWW2 there would of been no Auschwitz
        These victims are owed this memorial on ground zero

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