The Presentation convent in Doneraile, Co. Cork was built between 1815 and 1818. Finance came from public collections, private subscriptions, and a substantial contribution from Mary Ann Flynn, a widow who would later be known as Sr. Joseph. Additional funds were donated by Hannah Gould, who became a lodger at the convent in 1820 and resided there she died in 1825.

Most prospective postulants who joined Irish convents came the local area but Doneraile had two remarkable exceptions to this. Angelina Gould, born in Lisbon in 1792, had strong connections to Ireland through her family. Her father, George, was originally from Cork, and her aunt, Hannah lived at Doneraile convent. George Gould objected to his daughters plan to become a nun and she did not do so until after he died in 1826 when she joined the Presentation Sisters. She brought with her a substantial fortune, which she placed in a trust. This money was utilized to establish and support several Presentation and Mercy Convents. As Sr Magdalen, Gould became the founder of Youghal Convent. Moreover, the Gould fund played a vital role in establishing at least ten additional Mercy and Presentation convents.

Elizabeth Tuite also joined the convent in Doneraile. Her father Nicholas owned numerous plantations on Saint Croix in the Caribbean. In 1814 he sent his daughter from the West Indies to Cork to be educated at the Ursuline school in the city. Despite having experienced a privileged upbringing as a “petted young lady…tended by slaves,” Elizabeth Tuite chose not to return to a life of privilege after leaving school. Instead, she joined the Presentation Sisters in Doneraile and in 1824, as Sr Aloysius, she made her religious profession in the Presentation. Later, in 1853, she became one of the founders of the convent in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.

Above: Angelina Gould, Lisbon to Mother Superior, Doneraile Convent, 16 February 1826. In this letter Gould outlines her reasons for wanting to join Doneraile Convent, chief among them the fact that her aunt had been ‘so extremely happy’ there.
Above: Front cover of the annals for Doneraile Convent