Nano Nagle Place
Nano Nagle Place, Evergreen Street, T12 XPX8
Nano Nagle Place is a unique, serene oasis in the heart of Cork City, housing a museum, gardens, graveyards, cafes, shops and a community hub. The site is dedicated to Nano Nagle (1718-84), an extraordinary woman who defied social mores to educate the poor and aid the needy 250 years ago. This work was continued by the congregation Nano founded the Presentation Sisters, who brought her mission across Ireland and ultimately around the world. Nano’s sisters still live at Nano Nagle Place, making it a vibrant site of living heritage.
Nano and her sisters taught the poor children who attended their schools to work, to read and to pray, arming them with the tools to better their lives. Today, the beautifully regenerated convent buildings now house community education projects, The Lantern, Cork Migrant Centre and the Men’s Group that strive to empower marginalised people through learning, making it not only a site of living heritage but a place of meaningful social sustainability. In recognition of this work, Nano Nagle Place won the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2022.
Nano Nagle’s decision to found her own, rather radical, religious congregation, unbound by the rule of enclosure, marks her out as an early feminist. She believed that women were strong enough to educate and administer social care outside the convent walls. Nano Nagle refused to obey the orders of the local bishop and the local priest when they suggested that she seek permission for her plans and that her project to build a second secret convent was too risky. Indeed, Nano never asked for permission! Today at Nano Nagle Place, we seek to use Nano Nagle as an inspiration for future generations of radical, powerful women.
Author: Danielle O’Donovan