Dublin City University is to buy All Hallows College, it was confirmed today.
The deal, first revealed by independent.ie in February, was concluded last night following several months of negotiations.
The 170-year-old Catholic institution was placed on the market last year after management announced it would need a major cash injection to remain in operation.
The decision followed a controversy over its unsuccessfully attempt to sell letters written by the late US First Lady Jackie Kennedy to an Irish priest in a bid to raise funds.
Details of the sale price were not revealed by either All Hallows or DCU.
In a statement, All Hallows said: “Following a competitive tender process, All Hallows College is pleased to announce that preliminary contracts have been signed with Dublin City University to purchase the 6.74 hectare site in Drumcondra and the process will now proceed towards completion.
“This agreement will secure the educational mission of the campus and facilitate existing students in the completion of their studies.”
The president of All Hallows, Dr Patrick McDevitt, said he was pleased the negotiations had come to a successful conclusion.
“Obviously, as a linked college of DCU, we have worked closely together since 2004 and we have every confidence that the university has an understanding and respect for our heritage and legacy,” he said.
“We are very proud of the All Hallows legacy. This college has educated generations of students to be effective leaders engaged in justice and service, serving communities in every corner of the world since 1842
“Whilst it is sad that a Catholic, Vincentian institution with such a rich history must wind down, there is much to be proud of and to celebrate in the many years of service for this beautiful and historical college.”
The board of trustees of All Hallows commenced the winding down of the college in May of last year when its financial difficulties were judged to be insurmountable.
The president of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, said the deal was a “unique opportunity to preserve the All Hallows Campus as an educational facility”.
He said DCU would continue All Hallows’ “long and distinguished history in education and social justice”.
“The DCU All Hallows Campus, as it will be known, located only 300m from the St Patrick's Campus in Drumcondra, will form an integral component of the new DCU following the incorporation of St. Patrick's College Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute of Education and the Church of Ireland College of Education in 2016.
“It will provide the university with additional space and facilities to allow DCU to respond to the growing demand for its programmes.
“We will continue to work closely with the board of trustees and the staff of the college to ensure that existing All Hallows students can complete their degree programmes as part of the college's wind-down activities over the next 18 months."