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NWCI and ICCL call on Dublin City Council to stop the sale of the former Magdalene Laundry

Published: Monday, September 03, 2018

NWCI and ICCL call on Dublin City Council to stop the sale of the former Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott St

Press Release
2 September 2018

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) have today called on Dublin City Councillors to support the motion to stop the sale of the former Magdalene Laundry site on Sean McDermott St. The motion is on the agenda for Monday 3 September 2018.


Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“The Sean McDermott St site, which only ceased operating as a Magdalene laundry in 1996, is the last laundry in State ownership. To honour the women who were failed so badly by Church and State, and to ensure that history is never allowed to repeat itself, NWCI and ICCL is calling on Dublin City Council to stop the sale of this site, and to ensure that it is turned into a centre of education and commemoration, in accordance with the wishes of surviving Magdalene women. The building of this centre should not preclude the building of social housing units on the site also.”


Orla O'Connor continued,

“The treatment of our most vulnerable citizens in Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes, industrial schools and reformatory schools, represents a deep stain on our past and has left deep trauma and scars for many women and families throughout Ireland. A crucial component of ensuring access to justice for survivors of Magdalene laundries, and indeed, survivors of all of Ireland’s State funded, Church run institutions, is ensuring a commemorative and educational centre. The Sean McDermott St laundry is a poignant and fitting site for such a commemorative centre.”


Liam Herrick, Director ICCL said,

“In spite of repeated recommendations from the United Nations Commission Against Torture (UNCAT) that the Irish State should undertake a thorough and impartial investigation into ill treatment of girls and women at the Magdalene Laundries, there are no plans for this investigation currently. There have also been failings around promoting greater access to archival information regarding the Magdalene Laundries, and around fully implementing the outstanding recommendations of Mr Justice Quirke regarding services for survivors. Indeed, the first recommendation of the Ryan Commission was a memorial to those abused in residential schools, which has never happened.”

“In NWCI AND ICCL, we call on Dublin City Council to stand in solidarity with all those who were forcibly incarcerated and abused in Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes and all Irish institutions, and ensure that we begin to finally face our shameful past.”


Ends /

For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, NWCI, 085 8619087 or Sinead Nolan, Communications Officer,