The seven letters relate to correspondence between Nano Nagle and Eleanor (Sr Angela) Fitzsimons, the first Irish woman to volunteer to train as a Ursuline Sister in Paris, in preparation for setting up the first Ursuline Convent in Cork in 1771.
Upon vacating the building, the convent became the home of the Presentation Sisters where the South Presentation primary and secondary schools were built alongside it.
The letters were presented by Sr Anne Harte Barry, provincial leader of the Ursuline Sisters of Ireland, Wales and Kenya last Friday on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, at Nano Nagle Place on Douglas Street. The ceremony was held as part of a ritual which began at the Goldie Chapel and ended at the Tomb of Nano at the cemetery where both Ursuline Sisters and Presentation Sisters are buried at Nano Nagle Place. Sr Mary Deane, congregational leader of the Presentation Sisters, said the order was delighted to receive the letters.
“These letters are a reminder to us of the vision of Nano Nagle and what she stood for – during the dark days of Penal Ireland. Now, is our time to pass on the spark of faith, hope and love ignited by that wonderful and courageous woman, to a new generation and in new and creative ways. The redevelopment of Nano Nagle Place is an example of one such imaginative response by the Presentation Sisters, in collaboration with others, to the needs of our time,” she added.
UCD professor Deirdre Raftery also launched a digital project which will see the letters of Nano Nagle placed online in high-spec digital versions so people all over the world will be able to read them.