The South Central Province of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of Ireland & South Africa includes the Catholic dioceses of Dublin, Kildare & Leighlin, Cashel & Emly, Limerick and Killaloe. Many of the earliest Mercy houses are in this Province; Baggot Street, Dun Laoghaire, Carlow, Booterstown, Limerick, Birr, Naas and Coolock.
Coolock house played a very big part in Catherine McAuley’s life. With the death of her father in 1783 and her mother in 1798 Catherine was left to deal with personal poverty and she had to depend totally on others. In 1803 she became house manager for William Callaghan and his wife Catherine who was in ill health. Catherine Callaghan died in 1819 and William in 1822.
Catherine McAuley inherited the estate at Coolock and some money. The sale of the estate enabled her to build the house on the corner of Baggot Street and realise her dream of providing services for people who were sick or poor. Coolock House was bought back by the Mercy Sisters, who opened a school there in 1955.
Click here to read more about the history and heritage of South Central Province.