The Sisters of Mercy of the Northern Province of Ireland live in the six counties of Northern Ireland (Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry), eight counties in the Republic of Ireland (Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Louth, Offaly, Meath and Westmeath); View Map, Yola and Minna in Nigeria, and Mazabuka and Kaleya in Zambia. View Map
The five members of the Provincial Leadership Team are: Sisters Ann Brady (Provincial Leader), Paula Carron, Agnes Crowley, Jean Kelly and Mary Conway.
Back L to R - Srs. Agnes Crowley, Ann Brady (Provincial Leader), Paula Carron
Front L to R - Srs. Jean Kelly, Mary Conway
The first Convent of Mercy was founded by Catherine McAuley in Baggot Street, Dublin, in 1831.
Baggot St, Dublin
The first Convent of Mercy outside Dublin was founded in 1836 in Tullamore, Co. Offaly (in today's Northern Province) by Sr. Mary Ann Doyle, Catherine McAuley's companion, and a novice, Sr. Teresa Purcell.
Convent of Mercy, Tullamore. Founded in 1836
Other early Mercy Convents founded from Dublin were also in the Northern Province: Dundalk (1847) and Belfast (1854). Tullamore, in its turn, founded two convents in the Northern Province area: Kells (1844) and Derry (1848).
Convent of Mercy, Dundalk
Founded from Dublin in 1847
St. Paul’s Convent, Crumlin Road, Belfast Founded from Dublin in 1854
Convent of Mercy, Kells
Founded from Tullamore in 1844
View of Pump Street Convent, Derry
Founded from Tullamore in 1848
In the beginning, the foundress, Catherine McAuley, envisaged each new Mercy convent being autonomous, making decisions locally so that they could respond more appropriately to the needs of a particular area. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, however, the Sisters began to form Diocesan Units as they realised that they could carry out the works of Mercy more effectively by collaborating in larger groups.
With the passage of time ideas evolve and develop and, so, in 1994, the present structure of the Congregation, consisting of Seven Provinces, including the Northern Province, was set up.
Eventually, the three groups decided to join together as one unit and in 1994 they voted to join the Northern Province of Ireland. Today, Sisters still minister in Yola and Minna.
Sisters of Mercy in Zambia
In September 1971, three Sisters from the Navan community went to Monze, Zambia, and worked with other religious congregations until 1979. When the Sisters in the Diocese of Meath formed a diocesan union in 1975, they decided to develop the Mission in Zambia by sending four more Sisters there and the Zambian Mercy Mission began in 1979.
Since that time, the Sisters have withdrawn from Monze, but they continue their Mercy Ministry in Mazabuka and Kaleya.