1718 – 2018 The Tercentenary of Nano Nagle, Our Foundress
Mrs Neylon had the honour of unveiling a very special plaque on Friday morning, at the site of the original Presentation school in Athenry, as part of the tercentenary celebrations of Nano Nagle, foundress of the Presentation Order. She was accompanied by Aine from Sixth Class who was dressed as the lady of the lantern. Aine was chosen to accompany Mrs Neylon as her Gran Aunt, Sr. Eileen Kearney from Athenry, has just celebrated her golden jubilee as a Presentation Sister and is working currently in Peru.
Mrs Neylon spoke about the character and legacy of Nano Nagle:
➢ Nano was a very courageous, hard working, caring and compassionate woman and was a great model of faith, hope and love despite difficult times in Ireland.
➢ Her vision was to look after the poor so she started her great work by educating the poor children
➢ She was seen on the streets of Cork carrying her lantern as she visited the old, the lonely and provided medicine to the sick and food and clothes for the poor.
➢ Her total dedication to God and the poor is her legacy to all Presentation Sisters.
Mrs Neylon then spoke about the work of the Presentation Sisters in Athenry:
• Inspired by Nano Nagle’s vision, the community of Athenry were very fortunate when Canon Canton invited four Presentation Sisters, two of which commenced teaching in the primary school in Abbey Row here 110 years ago. The Presentation Convent was established and flourished here. The Sisters have kept the lantern burning bright and have always gone one step beyond.
➢ They worked tirelessly with the support of the Athenry School Communities in establishing the Sacred Heart Convent, Scoil Chroi Naofa, Presentation College and Nano Nagle Pre-School. Their successes and achievements are attributed to the inspirational leadership in schools, the dedication of staff, the commitment of the Boards of Management and the co-operation and steadfast support of Parents Councils and parents.
➢ All the children of Athenry and surrounding areas have benefitted so much from receiving a superb holistic education, enabling and helping each of them to achieve their full true potential.
➢ The tradition of Nano Nagle continues into the 21st century and is extremely evident in the Presentation ethos of our schools, Scoil Chroi Naofa and Presentation College and in the Athenry community.
Lastly, Mrs Neylon thanked the Sisters for their enormous contribution to education in Athenry:
On this historic occasion, we wish to acknowledge, to show our utmost appreciation, to sincerely thank and congratulate the Presentation Sisters on the enormous contribution that they have made to education and to the community of Athenry since 1908. Their work also extends throughout Ireland and indeed many countries of the world.
The staff and children of SCN are busy preparing to celebrate a special Nano and Friends Day this term to mark and celebrate this historic year.