Catherine McCauley founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831 in Dublin to care for the poor and the sick and to educate poor children. By 1837 the sisters established a house in Cork. Nuns from the order first came to Skibbereen in 1860 when four sisters from Kinsale opened a school in the town. They remained in Skibbereen until July 2003 when the convent and school were closed and the remaining sisters joined other houses of the order in Cork. Skibbereen Town Council gave the sisters a civic reception in 2003 to mark their contribution to education in Skibbereen for 143 years.
The well-known architects Ashlin and Pugin designed the Convent of Mercy.
In January 2004 the property was sold for €1.5million.
Corresponding article from the Irish Builder