Our History

The building where Place4U now operates from was formerly the convent of the Sisters of Charity who came to Clonmel 1845. They were invited by the then Parish Priest, Fr. Michael Burke, to set up a school for the education of girls.

The Sisters of Charity were founded in 1833 by Mary Aikenhead, a Cork woman who had converted to Catholicism when she was sixteen. The convent in Gladstone Street was the 10th foundation of the Sisters of Charity. Two local women, Mrs. Hackett and Mrs. Lacey arranged to have the building furnished. All this was made possible through the estate of Laetitea Bradshaw from Tipperary Town, who had entered the congregation.

In 1845, Clonmel had entered the very worst of economic and social times. The Repeal of the Corn Laws and the cessation of the Napoleonic Wars, contributed to the collapse of the town’s industries. And then came the Great Famine. The Sisters responded to these conditions. In 1848 they took charge of the school and in 1866 they established a night school. The night school was for girls employed during the day in the Malcolmson cotton mill on Suir Island.

An orphanage was opened in 1876.  At the same time the Sisters established a  Laundry in Morton Street which provided employment for the children who left the orphanage. In 1876, when the cotton mill closed, many women in Clonmel were left unemployed, so the Sisters opened a Lace and Crochet school to give training to some of the girls with skills which might give them another way to earn their living. As the lace industry declined, they bought sewing machines and made shirts for the British soldiers during World War 1.

In 1926, a Secondary Top was set up to help girls who had a high level of intelligence but who couldn’t afford secondary education. These were prepared for and sat their Intermediate Certificate.

In the early 1930s the orphanage was adapted into a Domestic Science College which functioned up to 1970. In 1979 it was demolished and Marian Court was built on the site as a residence for senior citizens, which is now under the management of the HSE.

Our Lady’s built after the Second World War. This building was used for both educational and recreational purposes – the latter included concerts, dances and ceilis.