In 1809, Fr Bartholomew Burke of St. Nicholas’ Parish in Galway, collected £4,800 to establish a community of nuns dedicated to educating poor girls. By the time of his death in 1813 he had added a further £1,200 to the fund and in his will he bequeathed this £6,000 for the foundation of a convent in Galway. 

Two years after Burke’s death, Edmund Ffrench, the Warden of Galway (spiritual leader of the city, similar to the role of a Bishop) requested Sr Joseph McLaughlin, Mother Superior of the convent in Kilkenny to send some of her sisters to open a convent in Galway. Sr Gertrude Breen, Sr de Chantel McLoughlin and Sr Angela Martin arrived in Galway in October 1815. For several years they moved between small houses until they purchased a former Charter School building in 1819. After the Charter School had closed the building had been used as a military barracks and a fever hospital and was in ‘a ruinous condition’ when the nuns moved in. 

Above: Aerial view of Presentation Convent, Galway, 1964
Above: Postcard of Presentation Convent, Galway
Above: Page from account book for Galway Convent 1822. The page shows payments for a range of items including Irish eggs, potatoes, wine, beer, trees and shrubs as well as payments to a gardener and for repairs of the house.

‘It is quite unnecessary to remark to you how ill-calculated the laity, in general, are to preside over…schools. They are mostly governed by mercenary views and temporal interests’. 

Dr Ffrench, Warden of Galway & Bishop of Kilmacduagh & Kilfenora to Sr Joseph McLoughlin, Kilkenny Convent

Charter School

Read more about the Charter School here

Nano Nagle Exhibition