Controversial plan to demolish former Magdalene Laundry for new apartment block back on agenda
New plans to demolish a former Magdalene Laundry and replace it with apartments has been launched two years after it was scrapped for reasons including potential burials being uncovered at the site.
A planning application has been submitted to Dublin City Council for 44 apartments at the old Donnybrook laundry at the Crescent on Donnybrook Road.
The site had previously served as one of four Magdalene laundries in Dublin and is understood to be the only laundry left that is still intact and untouched inside.
The laundry had been run by the Religious Sisters of Charity.
Dublin City archaeologist, Dr Ruth Johnson conducted a report in September 2016 on the potential development’s first application and stated that the plans did not show enough regard for the history and heritage of the site.
As part of the new plans, the smokestack – a protected structure - and its masonry base on the site will remain.
The developer said it had the site reappraised since the initial application was withdrawn in 2017 and a number of issues raised were addressed.
Among the work undertaken was three day test trenching, testing 19 trenches and they say that "no burials were uncovered".
However, while the smokestack will remain as part of the development, much of the rest of the laundry will be demolished.
A heritage impact assessment conducted as part of the planning application stated that the "demolition of most of the rest of the former laundry buildings is to be lamented because of the areas of significance highlighted," though it says "the finest structure will remain on the site".
"The overall site and each of the various phases of development have been carefully documented through photographic and measured surveys," the report said.
"Remaining pieces of the laundry plant and equipment will be made available for inclusion in public or private museums to serve as a reminder of the treatment of the Magdalene women and their lives spent working within the walls of the former laundry."