Galway city religious lands with scope for development seek €2.5m

Former convent and school site offers potential for hotel or apartment scheme

The sale of the former Presentation Convent site in Galway City is expected to see interest from a mix of developers, investors and potential occupiers. The subject property, which is being marketed as a redevelopment and refurbishment opportunity, is being offered to the market by agent Avison Young at a guide price of €2.5 million.

Located on Presentation Road and just a short walk from Eyre Square, Shop Street and Spanish Arch in the centre of the city, the 0.53-hectare (1.32-acre) site comprises several substantial properties including the period Presentation Convent building (25 bedrooms), together with the former Our Lady’s College secondary school and Presentation national school, extending to a total area of 3,828.5sq m (41,210sq ft).

The original Presentation Convent was built around 1750 to be used by a Charter school and then became a military barracks and a fever hospital, before the Presentation Order acquired the building in 1819. The Presentation national school was then constructed in 1820 while Our Lady’s College Galway secondary school was built in the 1960s. All three properties have been well maintained and offer redevelopment/refurbishment opportunities, subject to planning permission, says the selling agent.

The site is zoned ‘CF – Community, Cultural and Institutional’ in the Galway City Development Plan 2017 – 2023. The objective of this zoning is “to provide for and facilitate the sustainable development of community, cultural and institutional uses and development of infrastructure for the benefit of the citizens of the city” with residential uses considered on surplus institutional lands.


Having considered the objectives of the development plan and urban-planning policy, architects Sean Dockry & Associates have prepared a feasibility study for the site outlining its potential for an 82-bedroom hotel or a 60-unit residential development comprising 16 one-bedroom apartments and 44 two-bedroom apartments subject to planning permission.

The existing buildings also offer the opportunity to be retained or redeveloped for a variety of other uses including medical, nursing, educational, office/conference centre etc, subject to planning permission.

The Presentation Convent site is well located in the centre of Galway city and is accessible to all amenities the city has to offer, including shops, boutiques, restaurants, pubs and hotels, as well as numerous schools and the University of Galway. The site is readily accessible using public transport services including the 401 and 410 bus routes while the train station at Eyre Square is located within a 15-minute walk of the subject property.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times