Do you think it is insensitive to sell the Magdalene laundry site to a hotel owner?
Well it looks like that could be on the cards.
Dublin city councillor Gary Gannon has said that the “preferred bidder” for the Magdalene Laundry building on Sean McDermott Street is the Japanese hotel chain Toyoko Inn.
The hotel chain, which bought Abbeville in 2015 – the grand mansion and estate of the former Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Charles J Haughey – has an unusual staff policy.
In Japan, the chain has a policy of hiring workforces almost entirely made up of women; it’s been reported that 95% of its approximately 8,500 employees are female.
One English-language flyer described its approach as “the feminine touch in hotel management” that provides “care and hospitality to the weary traveler”.
On the company website, its president says that its “Toyoko Inn’s dream is to build 10.45 million rooms all over the world”. It also states:
The key to making this vast dream come true lies in each member of our employees. This is why what I envision for this company is, “to build 500,000 rooms in the next 30 years”, “to become the most popular name among females in Japan” and “to become the most respected name throughout the society”.
Gannon, who’s a member of the Social Democrats, said that it was inappropriate for the hotel chain to purchase the premises given the premises’ dark history if abuse.
He has set up a petition to urge Dublin city council to halt the sale of the building.
On the petition it says that this unique historic site must be preserved as centre for commemoration and remembrance for the victims and survivors of religious run institutions.
Gary said that this is the only Magdalene laundry of its kind that is currently in the possession of the State and its disposal cannot be treated as just another commercial transaction.
I am going to speak to Gary Gannon in a moment but before I do I want to know if you think selling a Magdalene laundry building to a private owner is insensitive and should be stopped?
Or do you think people need to remember the history of the building but move on?
I read a comment online that really struck a chord with me. Have a listen to it –
My Mother was sent to a laundry. When she saw this she was horrified. She wondered whether guests would be in the same rooms where she could have given birth and had her child taken from her.
Imagine the poor women who were sent to these institutions – some of them have never recovered from the experience and they see a hotel being built there.
I want to get your opinions on this –
Do you think the sale of this building should be stopped and a memorial put in place instead?
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