Nano Nagle Place – A Sacred Space South Presentation Centre to get new lease of Life Preserving Heritage Site and Planning for the Future

Nano Nagle Place – A Sacred Space South Presentation Centre to get new lease of Life Preserving Heritage Site and Planning for the Future

28 January 2014

Situated in Cork city centre, the historic 18th century site of the South Presentation Convent and School is the iconic birthplace of the Presentation Congregation founded by Nano Nagle in 1775.  For centuries this 3.75 acre site, which features historic buildings dating back to 1771, a walled garden, graveyard and the tomb of Nano Nagle, has attracted visitors from all over the world, including the huge number of people who have been educated and influenced by the Presentation Congregation and the work the sisters have carried out globally.


To preserve the heritage, ethos and philosophy of Nano Nagle and her pioneering work in education for the poor and under-privileged, the Presentation Sisters have decided to preserve the site and develop it in a way which will make it a unique visitor attraction and an integral part of the Cork City Historic Tourist Trail. The development will include a new Heritage Centre, an Archive building and visitor facilities. It will also include a Cafeteria based in the tranquil gardens of this important heritage site a short stroll from the hustle and bustle of the City Centre. The site – called Nano Nagle Place - will be revitalised as a sustainable resource to be shared with the people of Cork.


To oversee the development of Nano Nagle Place and to conduct the on-going operation of the project, a limited company has been formed and registered as a charity.  The Board of this Company is made up of voluntary lay people and includes three Presentation Sisters. The board is Chaired by Mr. Jim Corr, Cork City’s longest serving Councillor and also a former teacher in Presentation College. Day to day operations are managed, on behalf of the board, by CEO Michael O’Sullivan.


Sr. Bride Given, Presentation Sister and Company Secretary of the newly formed Company stated “The Presentation sisters, teachers and students from Ireland and abroad consider South Presentation as a very special and sacred place and regard Nano Nagle’s tomb as an important shrine.  However, we don’t see it as ours alone, but as a place of inspiration for the whole community and for all our Sisters.”


Board Director Mr. Joe Casey outlined that “These are changing times not just for the Presentation Order, but for all religious orders. The Sisters and the whole Presentation Community consider it essential that the values and ethos of Nano Nagle are carried into the future.  The aim of this development is to preserve and reinvigorate the special story of Nano Nagle and the Presentation Congregation, which began here in Cork. It is also to reconcile the spiritual ethos of this site with multi-functional social, cultural and educational initiatives. This transformation will be fully in keeping with best international practice of converting sacred spaces such as abbeys, monasteries and convents for wider community use.”


At present proposed plans are being developed and it is anticipated that they will be submitted for planning to Cork City Council early in 2014.  The development of the site will commence in mid-2014.  Financing for the project will be through the Presentation global Congregation and the total investment is estimated to be in the order of €10 million. 

It is expected that the re-development will take place over a two year period and the end result will be a place of heritage, reflection and welcome, attracting visitors to the region from far and wide, as well as playing a vital role in the local community as a sustainable community resource.


Chairman Jim Corr stated “People from across the city, many of whom went to school in South Presentation, are solidly behind the concept of giving this historic site a new lease of life.  Throughout this process we want to share our journey with the local community as well as the wider Presentation community.  Full plans once they have been finalised will be publicised in early 2014.  Over the next few months we will have many pieces of news to share and we would invite interested parties to keep up to date with progress through our social media sites and through our website and newsletter.”


For further information on the project visit or follow on Facebook or Twitter.  Neighbouring communities will also be circulated with printed literature and invited to sign up for a traditional newsletter to keep up to date on the development.