`A leisurely stroll through the streets of Carlow Town reveals a rich ecclesiastical history. This stretches all the way back to the sixth century when St. Croine Bheag, a female recluse, was associated with the area now known as Templecroney near the Haymarket. Tradition holds that it was she who advised St. Columbanus (St. Laserian’s Trail) to leave home to follow his monastic vocation. There was also an early monastery in Carlow founded by St. Comgal of Bangor.
In 1811 the Presentation Sisters arrived in Carlow and founded a convent and school at the junction of Tullow Street and College Street. The buildings now house the Carlow Library, Tourist Office and Carlow County Museum.
In 1837 the Sisters of Mercy founded St. Leo’s Convent, which continues to provide education to the town. In 1893 the Poor Clare Sisters came to the town – they moved into their present Monastery beside St. Clare’s Church in 1900. Although the order has limited contact with the outside world, visitors are welcome at certain times of the year.` – source Carlow’s convents
St. Leo’s is an all girls secondary school which was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1839. It is situated on the Dublin Road in Carlow.
Leo’s in Carlow, coming in fourth in 1837. The Convent building here was the first Mercy construction of its type and time. St. Leo’s College is the oldest secondary school in the South East.
The Religious Sisters of Mercy (R.S.M.) are members of a religious institute of Catholic women founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland, by Catherine McAuley (1778–1841). As of 2019, the institute has about 6200 sisters worldwide, organized into a number of independent congregations. They also started many education and health care facilities around the globe.
Location of St Leo’s Convent of Mercy: