Magdalene site in Donnybrook on market for €3 million

Historic Dublin property to be replaced by luxury apartments

The Religious Sisters of Charity sold the laundry in 1992 to a private company which ran it on a commercial basis until 2006. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Religious Sisters of Charity sold the laundry in 1992 to a private company which ran it on a commercial basis until 2006. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

The Magdalene laundry in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, is finally set to be demolished and replaced by luxury apartments when it is sold shortly along with two adjoining buildings.

Colliers International is seeking in excess of €3 million for the complex which extends to 0.615 of an acre and is located a short distance off Donnybrook’s Main Street. The property has been owned by a businessman since 1992.

The laundry was run by the Religious Sisters of Charity for more than a century and was one of four Magdalene facilities in Dublin – the others were in Drumcondra, Dún Laoghaire and Sean MacDermott Street – where young women worked, often in poor conditions.

The Donnybrook facility accommodated between 100 and 120 women over much of the period of its operation. It was founded by two lay people in 1796 and passed on to the religious order in 1883.

The nuns eventually sold the laundry in 1992 to a private company which ran it on a commercial basis until 2006. Two women who continued to live in the institution were subsequently employed by the laundry company.

Though the main part of the convent building, St Mary’s, is still used by the Sisters of Charity, one of the original wings of the convent next to the now rundown laundry, as well as another building, form part of the complex about to be sold. Only the tall chimney stack used by the laundry is listed for preservation.

The immense scarcity of apartments in the Donnybrook area and the ever-increasing rents available virtually guarantees that the complex will be sold quickly, according to Nick Coveney of Colliers. He says that because of its superb location just off Main Street there had been “huge interest” in it over the years from various developers.

These might well have included businessman Denis O’Brien, who has already assembled a valuable development portfolio in Donnybrook.

Mr Coveney said the site could potentially accommodate about 30 apartments and townhouses, which would be much sought after in the present climate.

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