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.

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