“If we are to learn anything from our past, if we are to honour those who were so badly institutionalised or abused, we need to create places where we commemorate, remember and learn.”

On Monday next, 3rd September, Dublin City Councillors will vote on a motion put down by Social Democrats Cllr Gary Gannon, to halt the sale of the last Magdalene Laundry in public ownership to the Toyoko Inn hotel chain.

Calling for all Councillors to support the motion, Cllr Gannon said:

“It is wrong for Dublin City Council to sell off the site of the Sean McDermott St Magdalene Laundry.”

“This last remaining Magdalene Laundry in public ownership must be preserved as a site of remembrance and learning. The institutional and clerical abuses that have caused pain and destruction to so many people and families in Ireland must be acknowledged.”

“If we are to learn anything from our past, if we are to honour those who were so badly institutionalised or abused, we need to create places where we commemorate, remember and learn.”

“Our narrative as a nation must also include the recognition of the cruelty that we tolerated in the name of piety, of the exclusions and banishments to which we sentenced people if they did not conform to an expected moral standard. We must fight the urge to forget these cruelties because it makes us uncomfortable and raises challenging questions of how we as a people permitted the system to remain for so long.”

“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.”

“I call on all Councillors on Dublin City Council to support the motion next Monday to halt the sale of the Sean McDermott St Laundry.”

ENDS
31st August 2018

Editors Notes
1. An uplift petition to Dublin City Councillors to stop the sale currently has 8,000 signatures.  https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/act-now-to-remember-the-magdalene-laundry-survivors

2. The Motion proposed by Cllr Gannon is:
“Following the repeated recommendations of the United Nations Committee 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, promote greater access to archival information regarding the Magdalene Laundries and fully implement the outstanding recommendations of Mr Justice Quirke, including services for survivors and memorialisation, the elected members of Dublin City Council (DCC) consider it entirely inappropriate that DCC is currently offering the Magdalene Laundry site at Sean McDermott Street for sale to private developers.

The elected members of DCC are also concerned that, despite it being the first recommendation of Mr Justice Ryan’s Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, a memorial to those abused in residential schools has never been created.

We hereby request a halt to the sale of the Magdalene Laundry site at Sean McDermott Street. We welcome the creation of the Lord Mayor’s Commission and look forward to receiving its recommendations regarding the appropriate use of the site.”