Former Magdalene laundry’s redevelopment requires ‘sensitive approach’, Taoiseach says

Work started on site intended as a national memorial with a museum and exhibition space

The redevelopment of the site of a former Magdalene laundry in Dublin’s north inner city demands a “sensitive approach” in how it is refurbished, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said.

Mr Martin said the Office of the Public Works (OPW) commenced the first phase of works at the site on Sean McDermott Street last week, ensuring the buildings were safe to access and to facilitate future works.

Last March, the Government approved proposals for a National Centre for Research and Remembrance to be located on the site.

Mr Martin said the former laundry will stand as a national memorial and will house a museum and exhibition space, as well as a research centre and an archive of records related to institutional trauma in the twentieth century.


“To contribute to the social and economic development of Dublin’s northeast inner city, the site will also encompass social housing and local community facilities, as well as an educational and early learning facility,” Mr Martin said on Monday.

“Dublin City Council has approved the transfer of ownership of the site to the Office of Public Works paving the way for the site to be developed and marking another historic day for the northeast inner city.

“I understand the Office of Public Works commenced the first phase of works last week which will make the buildings safe to access and facilitate future works.

“A building with such a complex and important history, demands a sensitive approach in how it is refurbished and repurposed to benefit the local community for decades to come.”

Mr Martin said upon completion, the site would provide facilities for the local community, while also “providing a vital centre of remembrance for those affected by institutional trauma”.

The Taoiseach was speaking at the Hill Street Family Resource Centre in Dublin 1, where the Dublin North East Inner City Initiative progress report for 2022 was being launched.

The report says its aims for 2023 include continuing its work on drug related intimidation as well as enhancing community safety. It also wants to ensure that a professional service is provided for victims of all crimes, and in particular for victims of domestic violence and sexually motivated crime.

The NEIC Initiative began in July 2016, when the Government launched a major initiative for the area to oversee the long-term social and economic regeneration of the locality.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times