Strong Roots

Between 1775 and 1828 the Presentation Order established 22 convents in 13 counties across Ireland. Thousands of poor children were being taught in the schools attached to the convents. In 1829, the year Catholic Emancipation was achieved, the sisters opened a further three convents in Bandon, Co. Cork, Dingle Co. Kerry and Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.

Above: Map showing the convents of the Presentation Order 1775-1828. The first convent, South Presentation, is marked by a red star. The convents directly founded from South Presentation Convent are marked with a black star and the convents established from those convents are marked with a wine star.
Above: Emblematic Tree of the Presentation Order. The oak tree and the acorns represent the parent house (South Presentation Convent), branch houses and their affiliations. By Jane White, a pupil of the Presentation Convent, George’s Hill, 1871

Complete Family Tree

Version of the Presentation Order's emblematic tree showing the convents founded between 1775 and 1828

Exhibition Team

Prof Gillian O’Brien – Research and Content
Misha Castle – Video and Film Editing
Dr Danielle O’Donovan – Oral History
Double Marvellous – Website Design
Dara McGrath – Archival Photography
Alistair Daniel – Copy Editing


Thanks are due to Sr Rosarie Lordan and Tom Lonergan of the Presentation Sisters Congregational Archive. Also thank to Sr Marie-Therese King and Sally-Ann Wade of the Presentation Sisters’ North-East Provincial Archive. Particular thanks to the Sisters in Wexford, Clonmel, Thurles, North Presentation and Galway Convents who kindly granted access to their convents. We are grateful to Clodagh Harrington and Kasia Uszczynska for exhibition illustrations and graphic design. Thanks to Jessie Castle who for providing both expertise and images used in the exhibition. Finally, thanks to the Heritage Council for providing the funding which made this exhibition possible.

Many of the images used in this exhibition come from the Presentation Sisters archives and convents and cannot be reproduced without permission.