With almost a dozen Dominican sisters leaving the Muckross Park convent in Dublin this week the local parish administrator has said it is a “loss to the community”.
Multitudes of tributes have been paid to the sisters after the main convent building in Donnybrook closed in a decision made last year on foot of a health and safety inspection of the main building.
The sisters established Muckross Park College 118 years ago, with local clergy, pupils and teachers expressing sadness at their departure.
“I think when a religious community withdraws from a local community it’s a loss to the community,” said administrator of Donnybrook parish, Msgr Lorcan O’Brien.
The secondary girls school will not be affected, which Msgr O’Brien said is “functioning very well” under its new management, Le Chéile Schools Trust, and current principal Ann Marie Mee.
In a statement seen by The Irish Catholic the congregation said: “‘We Dominicans are also conscious of the implications of this closure for our own sisters, many of whom have dedicated their entire lives to education and other ministry associated with Muckross Park – and also for the convent staff and many others who have a long association with the convent.”
The newly refurbished wing of the convent, Veritas House, which is occupied mainly by Dominican sisters, will not be affected by the closure. The 11 sisters resident in the main convent have been moved to other Dominican convents.
The convent building will most likely be sold later this year, they said, adding that this is linked to a fall in vocations in recent decades.
The Dominican Sisters, then based at Cabra, purchased the Muckross site in 1900, where they established both a junior and secondary school in 1901.
The original house at Muckross was built and owned by Patrick Cranny in 1865.
His daughter married George Noble who was given the title of Count Plunkett by the Pope. Joseph Mary Plunkett, who was executed after the 1916 rising, was the son of Count Plunkett.