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What’s happening with the former Magdalen Laundry site on Sean McDermott Street?

Last July, the City Council agreed to a land transfer to the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the former Magdalen Laundry site along Sean McDermott Street.

The purpose of the land transfer is to enable the OPW, on behalf of the Irish Government, to develop a National Centre for Research and Remembrance on this site which will stand as a National Memorial and will house an archive of records related to institutional trauma in the 20th century.

The Centre will comprise the following core elements:

⁃ A museum and exhibition space, the development of which will be led by the National Museum of Ireland.

⁃ An archival repository and research centre which will form part of the National Archives, and

⁃ A place for reflection and remembrance.

To contribute to the social and economic development of Dublin’s North East Inner City, the remainder of the site will also encompass:

⁃ Social housing and local community facilities, and

⁃ An educational and early learning facility.

While the Centre will be a national institution, it will be designed with a view to accessibility for all survivors, whether in other parts of Ireland or abroad. The Centre will, therefore, provide digital access to records and exhibits, as well as developing physical presences elsewhere to enable survivors to visit more easily. This will be done in partnership with local authorities and local museums in Ireland and in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs overseas. It is also proposed that the Centre will have a strong all-island dimension, working with the relevant authorities and institutions in Northern Ireland. In this way, the Centre will be a site of national conscience which achieves both a global reach and strong connections to, and benefits for, the local community.

Since the approval of this land transfer, the Central Area Office of Dublin City Council has maintained a programme of routine internal and external maintenance work at the site, incorporating the former Convent building, the Church, Grounds, open spaces and the extended area fronting onto Sean McDermott Street. Separately, the OPW has begun the process of preparing a scope of works for the buildings. I have invited OPW officials to the November Dublin Central Area Committee meeting to provide an update on the status of these preparatory works and the timeframe for their delivery as well as a briefing on how they anticipate providing an opportunity for the local community to be consulted on and engage with this redevelopment process across the next five years.

If you would like more information on this issue, please get in touch with me by email at

raymcadam View All

Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City

Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee

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