DCC decision to halt sale of Magdalene Laundry site welcomed

Social Democrats Councillor Gary Gannon's welcoming a decision to halt the sale of the final Magdalene Laundry site in Dublin.

His motion at last night's meeting of Dublin City Council was backed by at least 80% of members.

It means the Sean McDermott Street site will not be sold to a Japanese hotel chain.

"The next step is we all go back into a room, the Lord Mayor had initiated a commission to decide on the custom memorial that is going to be placed in that location," said Mr Gannon.

"I'm really looking forward to taking part in that process and in fairness to the Lord Mayor he has been great on this issue so I am looking forward to working with him to ensure that we get a suitable memorial."

The last laundry to close, Sean McDermott Street closed in 1996.

The building was then transferred to the ownership of Dublin City Council.

The council had been considering selling the property on a two-acre site to a Japanese hotel chain.

At a special meeting on Thursday evening, 37 councillors voted to retain ownership, with just eight voting against and two abstaining.

Survivors of the Magdalene Laundries applauded from the public gallery as the result of the vote was read out.

A number of protesters had gathered outside Dublin Castle ahead of the debate.

Some held signs saying “no sale”, others held aloft posters which read “our land is not yours to sell”.

Proposing the motion last night, Mr Gannon said: “We acquired that building in 1996 during a transfer sale with a religious order who previously owned it.

“In doing so we became custodians not only of its bricks and mortar but its terrible legacy of torture, incarceration and abuse."

Digital Desk

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