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Seamount College, Kinvara – 1954

Connacht Tribune 21st August, 1954 p20 (abridged)

Seamount

Corpus Christi procession passing Seamount gate (on right) c. 1950 Photo: Cresswell archives

About one hundred years ago Dr. Hynes of Kinvara purchased from Lord Inchiquin a shooting lodge overlooking Galway Bay between Kinvara and Dungora Castle. Here Dr. Hynes built a residence for himself and his family and, dying, bequeathed it to his daughter, Elizabeth, who had married his successor as M.O. of Kinvara, Dr. Nally.
During Easter Week 1916 this residence was occupied by Kinvara Company of the I.R.A. and during the War of Independence it was the secret meeting place of the wanted men. Again, during the Civil War, on account of its fine accommodation and commanding position, it was occupied in turn by both of the warring forces. At that time too, Mrs Nally, now a widow, set in motion the chain of circumstances which has brought it to its present proud position by presenting it to the Sisters of the Convents of Mercy of Gort and Kinvara. The Sisters had long wished to establish a secondary school for girls. Now they had the building with which to make a start but their resources were meagre.
By 1926 a room in one of the stables had been converted into a classroom and some members of the Gort Community took up residence in Seamount House. The work was inaugurated with fifteen boarders and thirteen day-pupils. By 1928 the rest of the stable had been converted into two more classrooms and a large corridor was added to the building. As the fame of the College grew so did the numbers of boarders and day pupils, and so too, did the need for extra accommodation.
In 1938 a fine three storey building was erected which contained dormitories, class-rooms, dressing rooms, and a magnificent recreation hall with a permanent stage. Despite these extensions the sisters were unable to cope with the ever-growing volume of demands for admission and again they had to face the question of expansion of the College buildings. The old buildings were adequate for the 140 pupils in residence there in 1952 but many, many applications had to be refused. So in 1952 Mr. Ralph Ryan, M.E. Galway, prepared plans for the great extension and the work was put in the hands of Messrs. kBurke and Clancy, Galway.
And so, in thirty years, the nuns of Seamount have written a success story of which any large corporation might be proud.

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