Sunday 18 March 2018

Sisters of Charity remembered

The Sisters of Charity and their lace makers pictured at Banada Abbey in the early 1900's.
The Sisters of Charity and their lace makers pictured at Banada Abbey in the early 1900's.

THIS FRIDAY, the population of South Sligo and beyond are invited to gather at Banada Abbey Community hall, close to the village of Tourlestrane, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of Charity to the area.

The sisters departed this picturesque area in 1987 but the legacy of their time spent there is still very evident both in terms of education and employment.

The organisers of this event are hoping that people from all corners of Ireland will join in what will be a special night of nostalgia.

The Sisters of Charity first came to Banada in 1858 when the local Jones family donated an old house and over 900 acres of land to the order.

The official transfer of lands took place in 1858 and the Sisters quickly set about establishing themselves in Banada.

In the early 1880's an industrial school was opened and by the early 1900 they provided employment in the areas of agriculture, linen and lace-making.

It is widely acknowledge that without their contributions to the local economy many hundreds of people from the immediate area would have been forced to emigrate.

In 1958 the Sisters of Charity opened a secondary top-school and by 1963 a fully-fledged secondary school stood proudly on the banks of the River Moy.

Banada Abbey secondary school became one of the leading educational institutions in the region and under the reign of School Principal, Sister Ann Dolores, who was part of the school for 23 years and who sadly passed to her eternal reward recently, the school flourished and went from strength-to-strength.

The event on Friday next will give both locals and those who attended the secondary school the opportunity to mark the orders achievements in a special way.

The evening will commence at 8pm with a special mass in memory of Sr. Ann Dolores.

It will be followed by a presentation of the history of the Order's time spent in Banada Abbey. It is hoped that all those with links to the nuns over the decades will make a special effort to attend the event. Further information is available on 087 245 8612.