Tag Archives: Magdalene Laundry

Have you seen this bell?

Last week, during a discussion about the derelict Magdalene Laundry site in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Dr Laura McAtackney, an historical archeologist, shared images (above) of a make-shift bell used by the nuns at the institution.

Laura sadly added that the bell went missing between visits to the site.

Breeda Murphy writes:

 It is not of any monetary value but in terms of what it conveys – we can speculate as to the purpose; calling the girls to work;  to pray – recite the Angelus perhaps; to eat or that it was time to load the van with fresh laundered linens etc – who knows? but it’s significant as a piece that reminds us of absence.  The absence of the women who rang the bell and those for whom the bell tolled whose footprints are erased from such sites.


Last week: An Archeology Of Containment

Atlas of Lost Rooms.

An interactive 3D reconstruction by architecture students at Queen’s University of the now partially demolished Sean MacDermott St Laundry in Dublin, the last of the Magdalene Laundries to close, in 1996. This is the site today.

Via Queen’s Architecture:

Several buildings on the site, notably all those connected to the industrial laundry have now been demolished following a fire in 2006, removing this important link to the past, and the memories of the women who were confined within.

This digital reconstruction, overlaid with exceprts of testimony from the women recorded in he Magdalene Oral History Project carried out in 2013 by University College Dublin with the support of the Irish Research Council, aims to give users a link to this difficult history, and a resource to use for education and contemplation.

Sean MacDermott St Magdalene Laundry (Atlas Of Lost Rooms)

St Marys Training School, Stanhope Street, Stoneybatter Dublin 7. In 2013, the Sisters of Charity admitted that the ‘training school’ was in fact a Magdalene Laundry. It was excluded from the Inter-Departmental Committee Report into State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries.



Previously: Slavery In Stoneybatter (Dublin Inquirer, November 2016)

Stanhope Memories (Stoneybatter and Smithfield People’s History Project)

Thanks Bebe

From top: Gary Gannon; The former Magdalene Laundry, Sean McDermott Street, Dublin 1

Dublin City Council Social Democrats led by Councillor Gary Gannon have secured agreement on the development of “a multipurpose site of conscience” at the former Magdalene Laundry on Seán McDermott Street.

Cllr Gannon said:

“During my last term as a City Councillor, Dublin City Council stopped the sale of the last surviving Magdalene Laundry in State ownership…

I am immensely proud to say that as part of the Dublin Agreement, which will be Council policy for the next five years, we have secured an agreement on the development of a multipurpose site of conscience…

Work has already begun in listening to the views of survivors, their families and women’s groups to develop plans for the site that recognise the social, cultural and personal history that it symbolises.

“This opportunity allows us to repurpose this building into a physical space where future generations can touch the walls and know that what occurred in these institutions were not exaggerated.”

In fairness.

Previously: Gary Gannon: The Last Laundry


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

Protesters, including Mary Smith (above) who was in the Magdalene Laundry in Sundays Well in Cork, demonstrate outside City Hall last night as Dublin City Council decided whether to sell the last laundry premises.

Last night.

City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2

Following a vote last night at Dublin City Council o preserve the site of the last Magdalene Laundry, Social Democrat Councillor Gary Gannon, who campaigned against the sale of the site to an hotel chain, said:

I’m delighted that my fellow councillors supported my motion to block the sale of the Magdalene Laundry site at Sean McDermott Street. This Laundry is a site of national historical importance and its sale to the Tokyo Inn hotel chain would have been an act of cultural vandalism.

Tonight’s decision paves the way for the preservation of the site as a place of remembrance and learning.

There is now a responsibility on government to listen to the views of elected representatives, survivors and their families, and develop plans for the site that recognise and value the social, cultural and personal history that it symbolises.

This building provides us an opportunity to create a physical space where future generations can touch the walls and know that what occurred in these institutions were not exaggerated.”

Last night: A Victory For Women And Survivors

Yesterday evening.

At Dublin City Council.

A scheduled vote on a motion from Social Democrat councillor Gary Gannon – to stop the sale of the magdalene laundry site on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin to a Japanese hotel chain – never took place as the council ran out of time.

The motion will be back on the agenda on Thursday, September 13.

A petition in support of the motion has gained more than 10,000 signatures.

It can be signed here.

Vote on Magdalene Laundry sale adjourned by Dublin council (Breakingnews.ie)

Previously: Acknowledgement