The Presentation Sisters were founded by Nano Nagle in 1775. The Sisters first came to Castleisland in October 1846 when Mother Joseph Hartnett, a native of Sandville, established a new foundation of the Presentation Order. The Sisters, though in dire straits themselves, worked tirelessly for the poor during the Famine years. In 1850, thanks largely to the financial contribution of Michael Hartnett, brother of Mother Joseph, a school run by the Sisters was opened.
From 1927-1945 a ‘Secondary Top’ operated within the Primary School system and in 1945 it was decided to open a separate Secondary School. Rooms were rented in the then Parish Hall (now the Veterinary Centre) and Presentation Secondary School was opened in September 1946. In 1951 the location changed to the Imperial Hotel (now Castletown House) and over 100 girls were enrolled.
A new Primary School was opened in 1966 and the old premises became available for use as a Secondary School. This was opened in 1968
and major extensions were added in 1974 (St. Anne’s Building) and 1978 (St. Elizabeth’s Building). St. John’s Hall was opened in 1972 and other
significant additions include Language Laboratory (1987), Oratory (1989), new Home Economics Room (1993), Computer Laboratory and Library (1996), the provision of wheelchair access (2004), installation of new heating system & the up-grading of electrical installations (2010). The Summer Work Scheme (2011) will enable us to install new windows, while a grant for ICT will allow us to install projectors and teaching computers in
classrooms. In 2012, Junior and Senior Cycle Social Activity Areas were created as well as teacher based classrooms. In the summer of 2013 a new corridor was added as an entrance to St. Elizabeth’s Building.
Since 2007 the Presentation Order’s role in education has entered a new phase. In that year, the Presentation Sisters along with the Sisters of Mercy, Daughters of Charity, the Sisters of Christian Retreat and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart came together to form CEIST (Catholic Education – an Irish Schools Trust). We pray that CEIST will succeed and flourish and that it will continue to provide Catholic education for the young
people of Ireland. As was the case with Nano Nagle, this is a response to the needs of our time. We trust that the spirit and tradition of Nano Nagle will still shine brightly and inspire all those involved in nurturing and developing CEIST in the future.