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Closure of Cregg House in Ireland

The Daughters of Wisdom came to Sligo, Ireland, in 1955 at the invitation of the Department of Health, to establish a residential centre for children with an intellectual disability. Cregg House, which was able to accommodate twenty four children and a community of eight Sisters was officially opened in December 1955. This was a particular source of joy as it was our first foundation in Ireland.

Based on Christian values

Sr Marian with child

The ethos of the Daughters of Wisdom Services was to provide the highest quality of care, education and training. The Sisters strove to provide an environment that would enable each person to live, learn and grow to their maximum potential so that their quality of life would be as happy and fulfilled as possible. They also provided much needed support and guidance to families to enable them to provide for the welfare of their son or daughter.

The Centre expanded greatly over the years with the establishment of a School of Nursing, St Cecilia’s National Special School, Rosses Sheltered workshop and the opening of community based homes connected to Cregg House. It was also providing residential and day services for children and adults. In 2007, due to diminishing numbers, the Sisters moved into nearby rented accommodation but still continued to be involved in pastoral care. The vacated convent building provided much needed accommodation especially for the growing number of residents with Alzheimer’s disease.


In 2014, the management of the service was passed over to the Health Service Executive which in line with government policy continued the process of moving from congregated settings to community living. At the closure of the campus in November 2021, a moment of profound sadness but also of great thanksgiving for all that had been accomplished over sixty six years, a total of 39 community houses were fully established in the 3 counties of Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.

St. Cecilia’s school, a school of excellence, is being left as our legacy with negotiations taking place for its transference to the Diocese of Elphin.

The following is a testimony of a nurse with her sister as a resident.

“My journey with the Daughters of Wisdom and Cregg House in Sligo began back in 1976 when my sister Betty was 4 years old. Betty was born with Downs Syndrome and was the light of our lives. When Betty went to live in Cregg House in 1977, we were heartbroken when she left, the house seemed so empty without her. However, I was thrilled to be accepted to train as a nurse in the Cregg House School of Nursing in 1978. When I arrived, I immediately felt I was where I was meant to be. It was wonderful to be able to spend extra time with Betty and to see for myself just how well she and all the other residents were so well cared for.

Cregg House was always person centred and Betty’s life was certainly proof of that. We, as family will forever be grateful to the Sisters for opening their hearts and their home to Betty. I do believe that her life would have been completely different to the amazing life she has now. While she would certainly never have been lacking in love, I know that she would not, despite our best efforts as a family have reached her full potential should she have remained at home.

Fr John Carroll, Sarah Corbett, Sr Margaret Morris

I was very fortunate to continue working in Cregg House to the end and to gradually say goodbye to a place that I had loved being part of for over 43 years. On the 24th November 2021, the final chapter of the story of Cregg House as a home to hundreds of people over 66 years and an amazing place for many hundreds of staff to work in came to a close.

It was a privilege to have been part of the Cregg House story and although all of the residents have moved to beautiful new homes, I am so grateful to have been part of the “old” Cregg House, which was a place of love, faith and friendship, a family and a home. A place where, as student nurses, we were nurtured by those more senior to us and by the wonderful Sisters who opened their hearts and their home to all of us and who became lifelong friends. A place of fun. A place where joys were celebrated, and sorrows were shared.

On that last evening I looked towards the “original” Cregg House and when I saw the light shining in the doorway, I was reminded of the light of love and welcome that always shone in all that Cregg House represented.”

filles de la sagesse

Whilst the closure of Cregg House has been a very painful process, we, the Daughters of Wisdom, are full of gratitude for all the good that was accomplished and is to continue. For those of us who were privileged to be part of the life and ministry of Cregg House,we thank God for how our lives have been touched and blest by those entrusted to our care along with family members, staff and members of the wider community.

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