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One hundred and ninety five years ago this week, the Presentation Sisters opened their convent on Presentation Road, on March 25 1819 to be precise. Some years before that, Doctor ffrench, the warden of Galway, went to Kilkenny to ask the sisters there if they could found a convent here. He had a fund for the purpose, and so, on October 27 1815, three sisters arrived to a house in Kirwan’s Lane. This building was not large enough for them and the 30 girls of the school which had been handed over to them by a committee of ladies, so they moved into a larger house on Eyre Square where they remained for three years.
Nano (Honoria) Nagle was born in County Cork in 1728. She was educated there and in France, where she eventually entered a convent as a postulant. She felt her mission lay in Ireland so she returned to Cork where she taught lessons in Christian doctrine. She sought out needy cases and established an asylum for aged and infirm women. In order to perpetuate this work, she formed, with ecclesiastical sanction, a religious community known as the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Later this title was changed to The Presentation Sisters. They received a set of rules, were approved by the Pope and finally, in 1800, raised to the dignity of a religious order.