Mary Immaculate College celebrates 125 years of education

Mary Immaculate College.

ONE of Limerick’s educational institutions is celebrating a milestone birthday today (Friday December 8).

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is celebrating its 125th anniversary, having been established by former Bishop of Limerick Edward Thomas O’Dwyer in 1898.

Bishop O’Dwyer wrote a letter to the Commissioners of National Education in Dublin seeking sanction for a teacher training college in Limerick.

In his letter, he wrote that “the College of Our Lady of Mercy, Dublin, is not equal to the supply of needs” and argued that Limerick “which is the centre of railway lines running into the counties of Clare, Tipperary, Kerry, Cork, and Waterford” was a good location for such a college.

The foundation stone was laid on the 11-acre site on December 8 1898, opening its doors to its first students in 1901.

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Professor Eugene Wall, president of MIC, said: This is a very special day for MIC as we reflect on 125 years of the college’s existence. MIC began as a teacher training college but, from a first graduating class of 25 teachers, we have evolved quite remarkably to a three-campus institution numbering over 5,000 students with over 50 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the liberal arts and education.”

“While the student numbers, academic provision, geographical footprint of the college has grown since the foundation of the college in 1898, our mission to educate students to the highest quality has not wavered and we are proud of the achievements of the tens of thousands who have passed through our doors over a century.”

Professor Wall is the ninth president of the college in its 125 year history, having succeeded the late Professor Michael Hayes in 2018.

Professor Peadar Cremin (1999-2011) was the seventh president and the first lay person to be appointed to the position.

The preceding six presidents all came from the Sisters of Mercy, who co-founded the college, beginning with Sr Paul Quinlan (1898), followed by Sr Veronica Cullinan (1923), Sr Celsus Barry (1945), Sr Loreto Ní Chonchúir (1959), Sr Cabrini Moloney (1979), and Sr Angela Bugler (1988).

MIC will host a series of events throughout the year, a full calendar for which can be found on