‘One of the State’s most exclusive boarding schools for girls is to close because the congregation which owns it has insufficient nuns to keep it open.
Our Lady’s secondary school, Clermont, in Rathnew, Co Wicklow, is scheduled to close by June 2004, although final arrangements are subject to negotiation with parents.
The owners, the small Christian Education congregation, has not had a single entrant since 1973. In a statement yesterday it said: “There is no religious personnel for the management or trusteeship of this boarding school into the future.”
The order came to Ireland following an invitation from the former Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Charles McQuaid, in 1956. He wanted the order to provide places for children of Catholic parents who had been sending their daughters to boarding schools in Britain.’
Irish Times, February 2nd 2001
‘A drop in the number of nuns entering the Benedictine Order has forced the prestigious Kylemore Abbey School in Connemara, Co Galway to shut its doors.
After operating for 84 years as a boarding school, Mother Abbess Magdalena FitzGibbon OSB said the decline in vocations to the order had necessitated the closure of the secondary school.
“In common with other orders, many of our sisters have reached retirement age and with no new entrants, we no longer have the personnel necessary for the management and trusteeship of the school. We very much regret having to make this decision but having looked at the options, we are left with no alternative,” she said.
In a letter to parents, staff, the Department of Education and Science and local primary schools, Mother FitzGibbon said it was with great sadness that the trustees decided to close the school in August 2010.
The Benedictine community at the Abbey has now fallen to around 14 nuns.’
Irish Examiner, 6th February 2006
‘A long running tradition of education will come to an end in February when the Sisters of Mercy closes its convent on The Shannon [Enniscorthy]. The six remaining nuns resident in the building beside St. Senan’s will be dispersed to other accommodation in February, it was confirmed to parishioners at the weekend.
‘There is a sadness,’ admitted Sister Elizabeth Breen, who was a member of the full time staff at Coláiste Bríde until she retired in 2002. ‘We have very good memories of the town and the people.’
The order was first called in during 1858 to provide primary education, especially for the poor of Enniscorthy. They eventually moved out of primary schooling to provide a secondary school and they leave a legacy to the town in the form of Coláiste Bride, across the road from the soon to be closed convent.
‘The Mercy order made a massive contribution,’ mused Tom Sheridan, principal at Coláiste Bríde, which still often referred to in Enniscorthy by its nickname of ‘The Mercy’. It is eight years since there was a member of the order on the staff, since Sister Elizabeth Breen retired in 2002, though she has occasionally worked there since in a part-time capacity. Just last week she was back on the campus running religious retreats for first year students.’
Irish Independent, 23rd November 2010