Sean McDermott Street

The Magdalene Laundry at Mecklenburg Street was founded by Mrs Brigid Burke in 1821. The committee responsible for the institution purchased land to build an institution on Gloucester Street (later known as Sean McDermott Street). The Sisters of Mercy managed the institution from 1873-1886, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity took over from 1887. (Source: McAleese Report) Sean McDermott Street was the last Magdalene Laundry to close on 25th October 1996.

Mecklenburg Street Memorial at Glasnevin Cemetery

To date, JFMR has recorded the names of 96 women and girls who died at the Sean McDermott Street Magdalene Laundry and who are buried at Glasnevin Cemetery. There are 51 names inscribed at one location, while there are 42 names inscribed at another location nearby. Using Glasnevin Cemetery’s online genealogy service, JFMR searched for the names of the 51 women from the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Laundry at Sean McDermott Street who died between 1943 and 1980. JFMR was able to locate all of these women in Glasnevin’s records, however none of them appear to be buried at the location of the headstones. According to the records at Glasnevin, these 51 women are buried at the location of another Sean McDermott Street grave, where there are 42 women who died between 1981 to 2008. While 3 of the women found are not on the headstone, all of them are buried at the same location. Finally, using ‘wildcard’ searches, JFMR has to- date uncovered the names of 3 other women who died at Sean McDermott Street between 1908 and 1930 who are buried in an unmarked grave in the same area as the headstones bearing the names of the 51 women who died between 1943 and 1980.

The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity transferred ownership of the buildings at Sean McDermott Street to Dublin City Council as part of a property exchange (further details will be added in the near future). In February 2017 the Mulvey Report suggested that Dublin City Council (DCC) put the building up for sale, (see also here and here) however DCC subsequently agreed an emergency motion which stopped the sale until  a consultation process with Magdalene survivors could be facilitated.