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Thursday 14 December 2017

Magdalene laundry artefacts should be saved, urges Flynn

An industrial washing machine and a laundry basket at the Donnybrook site
An industrial washing machine and a laundry basket at the Donnybrook site
A basket of laundry for Aras an Uachtarain
Religious statues in a storeroom

These images show some of the remaining items from a Dubin 4 Magdalene laundry, including baskets destined for Aras an Uachtarain.

The pictures, taken by Independent councillor Mannix Flynn during a visit to the derelict laundry in Donnybrook, show a number of items used by the women who worked there.

Religious statues, old machinery and trunks used to transport fresh laundry are all still stored at the facility, which also operated as a commercial laundry from 1992 to 2006.

Mr Flynn has called for the items to be protected as "important reminders" of Ireland's industrial heritage.

He said he does not want to see a museum documenting the history of the laundries, but said history must be preserved all the same.

"These items need to be stored by people who understand them," said Mr Flynn (below).

"It's an important part of our history and we need to remember it so that it can never be repeated again

"It's very important that this industrial heritage and the history of the institutions of the State is preserved as a reminder of what people went through."

At its peak, the Donnybrook laundry could accommodate up to 120 workers.

It was sold to a private company in 1992.

Residential

The significant site is now up for sale through Colliers International.

It was previously brought to the market in 2014 and could sold for around €3m. The 0.24 hectare site adjoins St Mary's Convent.

It is expected to be used for residential development.

The Herald's attempts to contact the owner of the buildings via the estate agent were unsuccessful.

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