The Old School
In the early 1800s, Mrs. Caldbeck of Moyle Park. House started a school for girls in the gate lodge of her house. That gate lodge was on the right hand side of the entrance to Moyle Park. College. In 1810 the lodge at Moyle Park was too small and the school moved to Orchard Gate Lodge where OMAC house now stands. Mrs. Caldbeck died in 1840 and left £2000 in her will to establish a convent of nuns devoted to the education of children.
The Parish Priest, Fr. John Moore, bought 12 acres of land for £300. He had the church and convent built side by side. The Convent building was ready by spring 1857. He then wrote to the Presentation Sisters in Carlow, asking them to come and teach the children. On Dec 7th, a group of nuns, Sr. Joseph Coslett, Sr. Regis Coslett and Sr. Stanislaus Mulcahy, arrived at Clondalkin railway station. They were welcomed by Fr. Moore, the villagers and a procession of young girls. The convent was officially blessed next day, 8th Dec; the school opened and over 200 pupils registered.
They had no furniture and the first school desks were improvised from scaffolding planks. A Clondalkin girl, Ms Dowling, entered the convent 8 days later. She was joined soon afterwards by a grandniece of Daniel O' Connell. Education in the school was free. After 2 months however, it was decided to have a "Benefit School" as well. The income from it was used to benefit the local poor, and twenty or thirty poor children were fed and clothed daily