Exhumed records shows Dublin customers of the Magdalene Laundries

Women working in the a Magdalene Laundry in the 1940s

A ledger from a Magdalene Laundry which was exhume, along with women’s remains in High Park in 1993, show the Catholic Church-run laundry’s Dublin customers. It shows that the Aras an Uachtarain (Ireland’s Presidential Palace), Government Departments, Guinnesses, Dublin’s leading hotels and golf clubs, Clerys department store and the Gaiety theatre all used the laundry’s services.

The laundry was run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, with on facility in Drumcondra and another in Dublin’s city center at Sean McDermott Street. The city center facility was the last to close in 1996.


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These documents were discovered in 1993 when the remains of Magdalene women were exhumed at the High Park laundry.  The land had been sold off for development by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity.

At the time permission was sought to exhume 133 bodies for cremation and interment in a mass grave. During the exhumation 22 other bodies were found. The congregation could not account for these bodies.

The ledger in question dates from October 20 1980 to March 18 1981. It is now in the hands of the Magdalene Survivors Together group. Director of the group brought the information to the attention of the Irish Times on Tuesday.

They report that the list included regular customers of the laundry. As well as those listed above they included the “Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Fisheries and CIÉ. Dublin hotels such as Buswells, the North Star, the Ormond, Skylon, the Sutton Castle, as well as Portmarnock and Clontarf Golf clubs. Included also are religious congregations in the city. Dublin airport, and the Bank of Ireland were also regular customers of the laundry.”