The Presentation Sisters have been in Killarney since 1793. Their arrival in Tralee was facilitated by Dr. Séan Lawlor, a native of Tralee, who saw the positive impact the order were having in Killarney and hoped for a similar impact in Tralee.
In 1809 Sr. Joseph Curtayne and Sr. John Sheehy, accompanied by the Very Reverend Cornelius Egan, made the first Presentation foundation in Tralee, in an area known as Blackpool. If you go down Milk Market Lane, off the Mall, and turn right, you will see the house where this foundation was made. On the outer wall of the building is a plaque commemorating this great occasion, the beginning of the Presentation Order in Tralee. Here the Presentation Sisters started their first school, in a small and flagstoned room. This room served as a classroom, refectory, and recreation area. Care for the poor was their greatest concern. At that time there was no school for the poor in Tralee.
In 1812 a convent was built near St John’s Church. In the beginning the sisters taught the children in the church. The floor was covered with flagstones and the place was very cold, as there was no heating. Providence intervened, however, when a kind lady, Ms. Twomey, donated money to build a school. From that small beginning grew our Primary School and Secondary School.
The Presentation Order foundress was Nano Nagle, who wished the congregation to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, there was already an order dedicated to the Sacred Heart and the Pope at that time gave the order the name of the Presentation of Our Blessed Lady.Our school here in Tralee, however, was named and is known as Sacred Heart School.