‘Burn it to the ground’: What should be done with Magdalene laundry buildings?

The Journal

Mary Merritt was sent to a Magdalene laundry on Sean McDermott Street after refusing to work at High Park laundry, Drumcondra. On the day she arrived, she still refused to work, and was sent to another laundry in Donnybrook. She refused to work again and was sent back to the first laundry.

In total, she spent 14 years in High Park. When she was released at the age of 31, she had to have all her teeth taken out and she discovered she was blind in one eye.

“I’d never seen a toothbrush,” she said. During her time there, she says she had no access to proper healthcare, doctors, education, or basic life skills – let alone her right to freedom.

Today, she and other survivors gathered outside the last Magdalene laundry to be closed on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin city, to share their stories and ask the government to include the last survivors’ opinions on what should be done with the institutions that represent a tragic failure in our State’s short history.

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