Renewed call to block sale of former Magdalene Laundry site in Dublin city

It was the last such laundry in Ireland and closed in October 1996

Renewed call to block sale of former Magdalene Laundry site in Dublin city

Pictured is Gloucester Street Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin | Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

There have been renewed calls to stop the proposed plan to sell a former Magdalene Laundry site on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin.

It follows a meeting of the North Inner-City Community Coalition on Monday.

It was the last such laundry in Ireland and closed in October 1996.

Plans were proposed back in 2017 to sell the site to a Japanese hotel chain.

The interior of the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin's north inner city in 2013 | Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

Fianna Fáil's Mary Fitzpatrick has said the site should not be sold to private developers.

She has called on Dublin City Councillors to reject the proposal to sell the site and to back a proposal to retain it in public ownership.

Ms Fitzpatrick said it should be developed "for desperately needed affordable housing, community services and a memorial to the Magdalene survivors."

"This prominent two-acre site was given to the State as compensation for the horrors endured by women in the laundry.

A Dublin City Council worker shines a torch over debris on the floor of the corridor in the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin's north inner city in 2013 | Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

"It is shameful that the State has for years failed to develop this valuable public asset and use it to address the chronic social and economic need for affordable housing in Dublin Central."

There are more than 2,000 people on the city council housing list in the area.

She added: "Private renting in Dublin Central has become totally unaffordable for working people.

"Every B&B and Hotel in the area is stretched to capacity trying to meet the need for homeless accommodation.

The front door and hallway of the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin's north inner city in 2013 | Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

"Working teachers, nurses and entrepreneurs in Dublin Central are having to commute long distances from Kildare, Meath and surrounding counties.

"At a time of such acute housing need it makes no sense for the State to sell-off valuable land, zoned and serviced for housing in the heart of our capital city to private developers with no obligation or incentive to provide homes for people."