2 Convent

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Stop 2: mercy convent

The Mercy Convent building was originally bought by the Malcomsons in 1840 who then gave it to two of their foremen. The Malcomsons thought it might be a railway station for the railway that never did come to Portlaw. In 1883, five nuns came from Cahir and set up the Mercy Convent in Portlaw. When the convent closed down in 1999 there were only four nuns left. Three of them went elsewhere and one of them stayed in Portlaw.

It was sold in February 2000. Today, houses are being built on the site of the convent. The people working for the builder are residing there now. It is sad to see these houses being built. I, Rachel Kelly, remember walking in the beautiful convent garden when we collected stuff from the nuns a few years ago. In 1934, the people of Portlaw knew the nuns needed a church so they raised a few pounds to build it. The people who built it worked for nothing. They did it voluntarily.

Sister Philomena taught music in the old school. She was a teacher too. The nuns worked in the school. Sr. Bernadette cooked in the convent. There are 19 nuns buried in the convent and one in the church. Sr. Philomena died in 2002 at the age of 90 in Tralee. Sr. Margaret still lives in Portlaw. When she was a teacher she was called Sr. Columba.

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