A Familiar Tale

Anyone approaching Sligo town from the south cannot fail to see a large range of rock-faced limestone buildings rising to the immediate east. Erected in 1890-91, this was Summerhill College (or, more correctly, The College of the Immaculate Conception), a secondary school for boys designed by local architect Patrick Kilgallin on the instructions of then-Roman Catholic Bishop of Elphin, Lawrence Gillooly. Further additions to the site were made early in the last century and again in the 1930s. However, ten years ago a new school was built on an adjacent site and the old buildings offered for sale. In 2016, the Diocese of Elphin announced it had sold the property to a Liverpool-based company Eastview Limited for an undisclosed sum (believed to be in the region of €400,000). Nothing further happened until in April 2020 when Eastview sold the former school to another company, RIPL Strandhill Ltd for €1.6 million. However, it appears the agreement was never finalised and last April legal proceedings were initiated by lawyers acting on behalf of Eastview to ensure completion of the sale. At the same time, a fire broke out in the building, believed to have been started by arsonists and inflicting serious damage to the upper storeys. Meanwhile, the rest of the site is being left to deteriorate.

3 comments on “A Familiar Tale

  1. sylvia wright says:

    Why hasn’t someone converted it into flats before now?
    The present owners should be fined for not looking after it properly & ensuring it’s safety.

  2. Deborah T. Sena says:

    One thing noted from past posts is that law allowing unroofed buildings to be derelict and pay lower taxes, does it still exist? Could be the reason for the arson based upon where it was seemingly targeted. Are the authorities still active in the arson case pursuit? Unbelievable, can’t the authorities require it being stabilized at least? It would be a sizable task to convert this large a complex to other uses, but agree would make stunning apartments.

  3. Gerry Gallagher says:

    As of August 2022, I am pretty sure the roof has been fixed. The amount of money required to “rehablitate” the building would be enormous. It was purpose built as a boarding school with classrooms and large dormitories and converting it for any kind of residential would cost in the millions. I was a boarder there in there 1970s and it is a crime to see it in this condition. In 2012 we had our 40th reunion with mass celebrated in the chapel which I am sure is no more.Sad.

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