Bishop Ray on the closure of Balloonagh Convent

Balloonagh Convent has been home to a community of the Sisters of Mercy since it was built. Thank God for all the good work of the Balloonagh Mercy community in the field of  education and charity  for a century and more. Theirs has been a powerful witness to faith, hope and love.  In the initial phase especially, but also in every generation since, so much of their work was made possible by people who, in a partnership with them,  gave generously of land, property and finance, and also of their time and talents to assist them. Thank God for all these people too. This often involved the setting up of a Charitable Trust, like the Mulchinoch Trust.

The diocese will be in ongoing contact with the Mercy Order regarding the Mulchinoch Trust and the future of the property involved. In terms of the subsequent use of the property the situation will be no different from that of the closure of any other convent or monastery.

Our hearts go out to the present community mindful of the upheaval they will undergo in the next few months. The convent has been the home of many of the sisters there all their adult lives. Out of consideration for them and respecting their privacy, it is best if these months pass without them being in the public spotlight.  For this reason the diocese will not be commenting any further at present.