Van Shed

The Motor Van Shed allowed vehicle access on to Gloucester Lane, which lead to Sean MacDermott St.  From here, a constant flow of deliveries and dispatches to and from the laundry would have been one of the few and indirect links the Magdalene Women had to the world outside.

“And also I remember the day…the day that I did run out…So I knew that if I didn’t go into the uniform that I wouldn’t be recognised when I came out, and the other girl had the uniform on, so we…but it was her aunty who told the police that we were there. 

And I remember seeing, I said to her two…I think it was at two o’clock the door used to open, and I said to her, ‘watch…watch the door at two o’clock, be ready,’ and we were ready. And as I was running and running th…all these women knew what I was doing and they tried to push…push me back. So I got one of them and I pushed her, I did! And she fell over and I…we just kept legging, legging it. 

And Sean McDermott Street I think has got like cobble stones…I always remember that. I remember running and thinking, ‘oh I wish it wasn’t cobble, I wish I could…’”

O’Donnell, K., S. Pembroke and C. McGettrick. (2013) “Oral History of Mary”. Magdalene Institutions: Recording an Oral and Archival History
Government of Ireland Collaborative Research Project, Irish Research Council. p. 14
Courtesy of the Irish Architectural Archive

‘The 1901 report described the efficient way in which the van shed, the sorting room and the packing room were adjacent: an ‘enamelled cloister’ or corridor seperated the packing room from the ‘very large and spacious sorting room’…Both sorting room and packing room had large rolling doors leading directly into the van shed, when opened onto Gloucester Lane.  

(Jacinta Prunty, The Monasteries, Magdalene Asylums and Reformatory Schools of Our Lady of Charity in Ireland 1853-1973, Dublin: Columba Press (2017) p. 297)

This room was totally demolished following the 2006 fire.

If you have any memories of deliveies to and from Sean MacDermott St Magdalene Laundry, or anything else you would like to make us aware of, please get in touch using the contact form below.