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Funds from multimillion sale of Magdalene site to be used to refurb former school

Social Democrat councillor Gary Gannon said that it wasn’t good enough that the site would be used for another “soulless hotel”.

1416 Sean McDermot Scandals_90504957 The site of a former Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott Street, Dublin. Source: Sam Boal via

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has indicated that funds from the sale of the Magdalene Laundry site on Sean McDermott Street will be used, in part, to fund the refurbishment of a former school building.

On Morning Ireland last week, the deputy chief executive of Dublin City Council confirmed that the Japanese budget hotel chain Toyoko was the most likely bidder for the hotel, and the estimated sale of the site was €14.5 million.

There’s been some disagreement over how the site should be used – the Social Democrat’s Dublin councillor Gary Gannon said that the site should be preserved as a memorial, and that the wishes of the living survivors of the Laundry should be heard.

The Sean McDermott Street site is the last former laundry in the possession of the State. We cannot allow this building to be demolished and replaced with another soulless hotel.

In response to a question from Gannon, the council confirmed that it did intend to use at least half of the sales proceeds for the school’s refurbishment, which was part of the Mulvey report, which lays out an infrastructure plan for Dublin.

“As part of the ongoing process into the implementation of the recommendations in
the Kieran Mulvey report for the North East Inner City, one of the key infrastructural
capital projects will be the comprehensive redevelopment/refurbishment of the former
school premises at Rutland Street. The final cost of this project has not yet been
finalised but it may be in the region of €10 million.

“While some funding for this will come from the government, there will be a significant
deficit and we will be proposing that that this deficit be covered by the proceeds from
the sale of the Magdalene home property on Sean McDermott Street.


Are there more bodies buried in other Mother and Baby Homes The site of the former Magdalene Laundry on Sean MacDermott Street, in Dublin. Source: Laura Hutton via

Gannon has now accused the council of linking the refurbishment of a former school building on Rutland Street to the sale of the Magdalene Laundry, despite the council’s pledge to repair the school in the Mulvey plan.

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“Many local people will be shocked to learn that the funding for this important redevelopment is actually contingent on the sale of the former laundry site.

“This proposal adds insult to injury to both local residents and laundry victims and survivors, who have been promised a State memorial to honour and commemorate Magdalene women past and present.”

Gannon has campaigned for the site at Sean McDermott Street to be turned into a memorial, but the council has put the land up for sale as part of an effort to revitalise the street. It has promised numerous times, however, to include a permanent memorial to the women who were at the Laundry as part of any future development.

“Dublin City Council will ensure that there is a suitable memorial to the former residents of this convent building as part of any future redevelopment.”

“The proposal to sell this property will coming before City Council Members for
decision in due course.

Read: Japanese hotel chain is ‘likely’ buyer for Magdalene Laundry site – councillor

Read: Dublin City Council assures there will be a memorial on Magdalene home site 

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