The Loreto Sisters under the invitation of Bishop Murphy, founded a school for girls in Fermoy in 1853. The first nuns arrived with 10 shillings to commence their work in Fermoy. The school opened on the 2nd of November, the Feast of All Souls. Upon arriving in Fermoy hardship and appalling living conditions faced the nuns. The building was cold, damp and unfurnished. The day the Sisters arrived the Galtees were covered in mist, the Blackwater was swollen with rain water, and this rainwater pored under the doors and floorboards of the school. The Loreto Sisters needed as much help as they could get and received much assistance from the Presentation Sisters. Even with the help the Sisters received they were still considerably short of funding at the outset. As time past and more and more pupils attended the school along with the help of local lay people the school improved, eventually building new dormitories. The Convents prosperity grew and eventually commissioned the renowned architect George Ashlin to design a new wing for the convent. The new wing was built just in time for the arrival of Prince Arthur Patrick, Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria who visited Fermoy and the convent in 1877.