High Park Convent, Dublin – January 2009

High Park Convent, when it was in use, was infact one of the notorious Magdalene laundries which were dotted around Ireland at the time. These laundries were terrible places where women were sent to live and work in, under the control of the nuns who ran these buildings. They were essentially prisons. Single mothers, unfaithful women and women who had committed anything immoral could be sent here by their families. Many were even sent by the courts for committing petty crimes. Most women ended up being left here and forgotten about, living and dying behind the walls of these laundries. Scarily the last Magdalene laundry in Ireland only closed in 1996. The abuse committed by the order of nuns in these laundries over this time was extremely damaging and it’s amazing that so many of them were left open for so long.

The Magdalene laundry here in High Park was featured in the news a few years back when 155 bodies were found and exhumed from a mass grave. Some more history on the “convent” here: http://www.netreach.net/~steed/portfolio/write/magdalene.html

The large laundry building has now been knocked down and a block of apartments has been built in it’s place. All that remains is the convent building. Half of this building is now used as a hostel for the homeless but half of it lies derelict to the rear of the hostel. This part of the convent seems to have been converted into use as a school at some stage in the past. Whether this was part of the convent or was one of the industrial schools that was located in the area I’m not 100% sure on. Either way, knowing the history of this building and the fact that it is nearly untouched, means this was a bit of an eerie explore.

High Park Convent

Lost Wheelchair

World Map

Toilets

Solitary Chair

Into the Light

Empty

Door to Nowhere

Electrical Fault

Empty Corridor3

Pidgeon Holes

Trashed Kitchen

Wall Painting

Nursery

Crashed Trike

Washing Room

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7 thoughts on “High Park Convent, Dublin – January 2009

  1. Hi, I wanted to confirm that this side of the convent was in fact a school for a time. I lived there with many other international students for 6 months at a time. The school was through an organisation called Youth With A Mission or YWAM. It was only recently that another student posted some of the photos that i started looking around. Hence realising the contection to the laundries. Many of us that had passed throughthe doors there were sad to see the building as it is now, as after leaving in 1996 and returningto Australia I had no idea of the history or of the state of the building. I would be interested in learning more about the history. However the link is no longer active, so if someone would be able to provide some guidance that would be great.

    • Hi Nadine,

      Thanks for the information, I was unsure of what type of school it was and there seems to be no information online regarding this part of the building so that’s good to know 🙂

      I wasn’t aware until you mentioned It but it seems the domain has expired. I did a bit of searching online and found a cached version of the article. The article mainly details the story of the mass grave rather than the history of the building itself but hopefully it will be of some use to you: http://archive.today/GRoV

      Best of luck with your research into the history of the building.

      All the best,
      LS

  2. Hi,

    I’m writing a thesis on this particular site. A couple of questions: can you share your resources on this history you know and also would you mind if I used these pictures? I’m having a hell of a time finding primary source data of this laundry, so any input you would have would be amazing.

    Thanks,
    Alyssa M.

  3. I grew up nearby and would have been 8 or 9 when the laundry closed. Crazy to think what was going on not all that far away. If I thought I’d get an answer, I’d ask my dad what was said/what he knew about the laundry.

    I have a quick question for you though. Haven’t been by there in years but the wife is interested in having a look/taking some pictures when we’re back in Ireland next month. What’s the best/easiest way to get in? Had a look on Google Maps but it’s difficult to see how high the walls/fences/bushes are.

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