Former Summerhill orphanage not to be demolished to make way for school

Concerns over the prospect that a former orphanage at Summerhill in Athlone will be demolished to make way for a new school building are being allayed.

Eddie Madden who is a former pupil of St Aloyisus College has written to the papal nuncio detailing his opposition to a new school building for Colaiste Chiaran, on the site of the former St Joseph’s industrial school. He wants it to be kept as a memorial to the 52 girls who died there.

However the planning files show that the former orphanage building will not be demolished – a new building is to be developed on a different area of the campus, the planning also only allows for the demolition of just the classroom extensions of St Joseph’s, built in the 1960s and 70s.

There were no formal objections to the project during the planning process.