The Presentation Sisters embarked on establishing a convent in Clonmel following a bequest of £2,000 from Rev. Dr Butler. In 1813, three Presentation sisters moved into a small house in Irishtown (the poorest part of the town) that served as both a convent and a school. The annals documented that in the first year, the school had over 700 pupils and the rooms were ‘so small that the children were actually huddled together and many were obliged to stand outside the door. Most of the poor children were obliged to find seats on the floor’.

The arrival of the nuns in Clonmel was met with great enthusiasm by many, and the town was abuzz with excitement. When Mary Power had her reception – an important ceremony which marks a significant step in the journey to becoming a fully professed religious sister – in the parish church in 1815, so many people wanted to attend to attend that the event required tickets, and soldiers were stationed outside to maintain order.

Above: Clonmel, Ordnance Survey Map, 1874. The Presentation convent can be seen at the bottom right of the map.
Above: Entrance to Presentation Convent, Clonmel
Above: Detail from stained glass window in convent chapel


Branching Out – Clonmel Convent Community

Difficulties in finding a site

As it became evident that more space was required, the nuns encountered difficulties in finding a suitable site on which to build a convent, for no Protestant landlords or landowners would sell or rent to them. However, after nearly a decade of searching, they stumbled upon a potential solution. A five-acre plot just outside the town became available and they convinced Mr. Davis, the father of Sr Teresa, to acquire the land as a dowry for his daughter. Davis omitted to mention to the landowner that his daughter was a Presentation Sister. 

Top right image: Consecration stone, Clonmel Convent, 1828
Above: Inner hall door, Clonmel Convent

Sr Magdalen Sargent

Read further about Sr. Magdalen Sargent here

Nano Nagle Exhibition

Charles Bianconi

Read more about Charles Bianconi here

Nano Nagle Exhibition