Offaly photographer brings new exhibition home to Tullamore

Open to the public

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Offaly photographer brings new exhibition home to Tullamore

Offaly photographer brings new exhibition home to Tullamore

Tullamore native Aisling O’Rourke is bringing her moving photographic exhibition to Áras an Chontae, Tullamore.

‘A Bower for Sisters’ documents the final few months of Our Lady’s Bower Boarding School and Convent in Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

The exhibition will be opened by Sinead Dooley on Tuesday, November 14 at 6pm.

Established in 1884, it’s understood when Jean Baptiste Debrabant decided to build Our Lady’s Bower Convent and Boarding School, he used the designs from his home in the south of France to save costs in his new venture.

In June 2014, the last 11 boarders sat their Leaving Certificate and the school shut its doors for the last time. The La Sainte Union order of roman catholic nuns could no longer afford to keep it running and pay for the care of an ageing population of sisters. The 130 year old facility was one of the last boarding schools to exist in Ireland.

In recognition of the school’s legacy former pupil, Aisling O’Rourke created the photobook ‘A Bower for Sisters’ in 2015.

“In A Bower For Sisters I aim to pay testament to a part of our history which is now gone, to pay tribute to the work of the La Sainte Union sisters, and in some small way ensure Our Lady’s Bower Boarding School is not forgotten in the years to come,” Aisling said.

The exhibition will be on show until Friday 1st December opening Monday to Friday 9-4pm. 

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