Nano Nagle Place is launched at South Pres Redevelopment Plans Unveiled

Nano Nagle Place is launched at South Pres Redevelopment Plans Unveiled

Plans for a new lease of life for the historic 18th century site of the South Presentation Convent and School were unveiled at an event today, Friday 21st February, hosted in the old South Presentation School Hall on Douglas Street, Cork. South Presentation Centre, which will now be known as Nano Nagle Place, is the iconic birthplace of the Presentation Congregation founded by Ireland’s first global social entrepreneur Nano Nagle, “The Lady of the Lantern” on Christmas Eve in 1775.


Nano’s example inspired several other founders of religious orders in Ireland, including the Presentation Brothers and the Christian Brothers.  Her own Sisters spread their wings to the four corners of the world, so that the Presentation Congregation has become a worldwide community in the spirit of Nano and at its centre is this site, a sacred space and final resting place of Venerable Nano Nagle.


The event marked the launch of the official plans for the €10 million redevelopment of the South Presentation Centre, which will be designed to preserve the heritage, ethos and philosophy of Nano Nagle and her pioneering work in education for the poor and under-privileged. The development will include spaces for Ministry activities, a new Heritage Centre, an Archive building and peaceful gardens for visitors to enjoy, which will include Nano Nagle’s tomb. The development will also include a Cafeteria based in the tranquil gardens of this important, sacred and peaceful place, a short stroll from the hustle and bustle of Cork City Centre. Parts of the development will be revitalised as a sustainable resource to be shared with the people of Cork.


Today the Cork community including neighbours and former students came out to attend the launch of Nano Nagle Place. RTE’s Mary Kennedy, a former student and teacher of Presentation Convent primary school and secondary school in Clondalkin in Dublin was the MC and spoke of her time there “I am delighted to be associated with this project to honour Nano Nagle. Her legacy is noble and caring. The fact that she turned away from a life of comfort and wealth to devote her life to providing the poor with an education is something for which this country should be very grateful. I’m proud to be a former primary and secondary pupil from Presentation and also a former teacher there”


Also in attendance was Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan TD, who spoke about the impact Nano Nagle had globally “This new Heritage Centre will be a fabulous addition to the Cork City Historic Tourist Trail. What we have in the South Presentation site is an incredible and globally famous story, which will be showcased in Nano Nagle Place. I am confident that Nano Nagle Place will become an international tourist attraction, which will preserve and promote both the story of Nano Nagle and the history of the Presentation Sisters, now and in the future.”


Lord Mayor Cllr Catherine Clancy highlighted some of the key benefits Nano Nagle Place will bring to the Cork Community “As a past pupil of South Presentation Convent, I am delighted to be part of the launch of Nano Nagle Place.  It is right and fitting that we preserve the heritage, ethos and philosophy of Nano Nagle and her pioneering work in education for the poor and underprivileged.  Nano Nagle Place is situated in the heart of the South Parish and I know the surrounding community will be proud that the legacy of such a great Cork Woman is now going to be celebrated into the future.


Sr Mary Deane, Congregational Leader of the Presentation Sisters Union also spoke at the event and explained the what Nano Nagle place means to the Presentation Sisters “2018 will mark the 300th birth anniversary of Venerable Nano, it would be a fitting honour to her, to the city of Cork, as well as the Presentation family throughout the world, to think that by 2018 this site will be transformed from what you see today.  Our dream is that Nano Nagle Place will continue to be a vibrating hub of the life and spirit of Venerable Nano, fanning the flame of peace, hope and faith into the future.”


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 Voluntary Board of this Company has six lay people and includes four Presentation Sisters. The board is Chaired by Cllr. Jim Corr, Cork City’s longest serving Councillor and also a former teacher in Presentation College. Jim spoke at the event about the future of Nano Nagle Place “This project will record an outstanding contribution to the human spirit and when completed it will be:

?     A place of internationally recognised historical interest

?     A place of learning 

?     A place from which the Presentation Sisters will offer services to people in need

?     a place of reflection and faith


Yes. We aim to give a new lease of life to South Pres now renamed nano Nagle Place – A Sacred Space”


It is expected that the redevelopment will take place over a two year period and the end result will be a place of heritage, ministry, 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.  Financing for the project will be through the Presentation global Congregation.


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 printed newsletter to keep up to date with the development.


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