Last Saturday I had the pleasure of been the official videographer for a historic celebration in Tipperary town. This year marks the the 150th anniversary of the foundation of
the Sisters of Mercy in Rosanna Road . St Michael’s Church was full to the doors for a mass of thanksgiving for 150 years of dedicated service by the sisters of mercy in Tipperary Town. As a Videographer in Tipperary I have a close working association with the schools in Tipperary Town through the recording of first communions, confirmation and school shows, thanks to Pat O’ Halloran Principle of the the Monastery School for recommending Drangan Video to film this celebration.
In 1863 Fr. William Quirke from the parish of Drangan persuaded St. Mary’s in Limerick to send one of their sisters Anne McNamara : in religion Sr. Mary Catherine, to establish a convent at Tipperary. On October 6th 18674 she with some temporary helpers arrived in Tipperary and took posession of their forbidding new home, the fever hospital in the hills, situated beside the famine graveyard. By the time this founder of of the Tipperary congregation died in 1896, what had begun on the hills, flourished at Rosanna and established as a convent in 1865.
Unsurprisingly, the first postulants came from Drangan Parish and within three years the community at Rosanna numbered eight. In 1871 the flow was reversed and rosanna sent sisters to Drangan, a conection that lasted until 1920. St Annes began 1868 a fee paying top-up for local shopkeepers daughters. St Josephe’s opened in 1970. From the beginning sisters had visited Tipperary Workhouse but it was not until the rules changed that were allowed assume an official role, which they did in Tipperary in 1873. a new convent graced Rosanna in 1874 and a decade later, the captial was built.
Within a decade or so of arriving in Tipperary, all the strands of the sisters work was in place. The exception was the link with Alabama that began in 1963. One hundrer and fifty years on and the Mercy Sisters are still in Tipperary. St. Joseph’s and St. Anne’s continue to flourish as enduring memorials.
St. Annes Secondary School Tipperary :
The three-storey building which today forms the main part of the secondary school date from the early 1870’s and was built as an industrial school for girls. This continued to function until 1922. The laundry which continued after that date had been started as part of the industrial school.
Prior to 1897, some degree of post-primary education had been provided but from that year, St. Anne’s operated as a secondary school under the Board of Intermediate (Secondary) Education.
In the 1960’s, the primary school, St. Joseph’s, moved to its present location and the older buildings underwent considerable renovation and extension. In the 1970’s, a new staff-room and classrooms were built, partly on the site of the old laundry. In the 1980’s, a new science block and stairway were added and in 1996, the whole complex was extensively renovated as the first phase of an on-going development plan.
My coverage of the celebrations began at luchtime with a group photo of the Sisters outside the front door of the convent house in Rosanna Road, the day was lovely and dry with lots of sunshine. The celebration mass took place in St. Michael’s Church at 2pm Arch Bishop Dermot Clifford was one of the many invited guests. The Main celebrant was Archdeacon Mattie McGrath, PP. Dr. Des Marnane was the guest speaker who spoke about the history and establishment of the Sisters of Mercy in Tipperary Town, music and singing was performed by the local School girls choir. After the ceremony everyone was invited back to the convent for refreshments and the pupils of St Annes were happy to help out with catering.
I was delighted to have been the videographer for this historical event, and by coincidence there is a big connection with my own parish of Drangan & the Sisters of Mercy which made the whole event allot more special for me.
On that night I returned to the Excel Theater Tipperary Town, to record World of Opera : by GAUDEAMUS PRODUCTIONS :
It was my very first attendance at an Opera, I must say that it was a totally enjoyable and some what different exsperence, the two hours just seemed to fly what a truly professional production, featuring music from the worlds most distinguished composers including : Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Bizet etc.
Guest Artists included : Emma Walsh | Sarah Ellen Murphy | Peter O’ Reilly | Derek Ryan, with the Gaudeamus soloists Chorus and Orchestra :
Devised, Produced and Narrated by Michael O’ Donoghue who has close connections with St. Marys Choral Society Clonmel, Tipperary :
Musical Director/Conductor: Danny Carroll | Musical Director/ Repetiteur : Mary Rose McNally
Thanks for taking the time to read my latest blog post : More news soon.