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Our Story

The Sisters of Mercy of the Northern Province of Ireland live in the six counties of Northern Ireland (Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry), eight counties in the Republic of Ireland (Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Louth, Offaly, Meath and Westmeath); View Map, Yola and Minna in Nigeria, and Mazabuka and Kaleya in Zambia. View Map

The five members of the Provincial Leadership Team are: Sisters Ann Brady (Provincial Leader), Paula Carron, Agnes Crowley, Jean Kelly and Mary Conway.

Back L to R - Srs. Agnes Crowley, Ann Brady (Provincial Leader), Paula Carron
Front L to R - Srs. Jean Kelly, Mary Conway

Safeguarding Children

Click here
to download the Northern Province Safeguarding Children Policy.

To download the Congregational Safeguarding Children Policy, visit the Homepage of the Congregational Website

Our History

The first Convent of Mercy was founded by Catherine McAuley in Baggot Street, Dublin, in 1831.

Baggot St, Dublin

The first Convent of Mercy outside Dublin was founded in 1836 in Tullamore, Co. Offaly (in today's Northern Province) by Sr. Mary Ann Doyle, Catherine McAuley's companion, and a novice, Sr. Teresa Purcell.

Convent of Mercy, Tullamore. Founded in 1836

Other early Mercy Convents founded from Dublin were also in the Northern Province: Dundalk (1847) and Belfast (1854). Tullamore, in its turn, founded two convents in the Northern Province area: Kells (1844) and Derry (1848).

Convent of Mercy, Dundalk
Founded from Dublin in 1847

St. Paul’s Convent, Crumlin Road, Belfast Founded from Dublin in 1854
Convent of Mercy, Kells
Founded from Tullamore in 1844

View of Pump Street Convent, Derry
Founded from Tullamore in 1848

In the beginning, the foundress, Catherine McAuley, envisaged each new Mercy convent being autonomous, making decisions locally so that they could respond more appropriately to the needs of a particular area. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, the Sisters began to form Diocesan Units as they realised that they could carry out the works of Mercy more effectively by collaborating in larger groups.

With the passage of time ideas evolve and develop and, so, in 1994, the present structure of the Congregation, consisting of Seven Provinces, including the Northern Province, was set up.

Sisters of Mercy in Nigeria

In 1969, four Sisters from Dungarvan, in the Southern Province, went to Yola in Nigeria, three Sisters from Strabane went to Minna and five Sisters from Armagh Diocese went to Lagos.

Eventually, the three groups decided to join together as one unit and in 1994 they voted to join the Northern Province of Ireland. Today, Sisters still minister in Yola and Minna.

Foundation Diagram

Sisters of Mercy in Zambia

In September 1971, three Sisters from the Navan community went to Monze, Zambia, and worked with other religious congregations until 1979. When the Sisters in the Diocese of Meath formed a diocesan union in 1975, they decided to develop the Mission in Zambia by sending four more Sisters there and the Zambian Mercy Mission began in 1979.

Since that time, the Sisters have withdrawn from Monze, but they continue their Mercy Ministry in Mazabuka and Kaleya.

Foundation Diagram




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