The convent was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Sisters. Fr Timothy Murphy asked the Presentation Sisters to open a convent in Fermoy in 1835. He purchased the land and paid £1,100 towards the £3,000 cost to build the convent. The Fermoy Convent was the 36th of the Order of the Presentation Sisters. When the convent opened the Presentation Sisters gave the poor female children religious and literary instruction. Educating girls was not greatly valued in Ireland at the time, therefore attendance of classes varied greatly. The sisters worked within the rules of the Board of Education, therefore received an annual salary from the Board. Initially, the sisters led the children in prayer, read from the scriptures, recited the Hail Mary on every hour and the Angelus rang out at noon every day. In 1953 the Board of Education stepped in and instructed the Sisters to cease giving religious instruction to the children. Subjects taught at the Convent included spelling, reading, writing, geography, grammar, geometry, arithmetic, book keeping and needlework. Music, instruction in musical instruments and singing were later added to the curriculum. A second school was founded in the convent inb1851. This was an industrial school which lone orphaned children or children of lone parents could attend. From 7.30am to 9am and 11.30am to 4pm the girls worked primarily carrying out embroidery and were taught literacy skills between 10am and 11.30am. The girls in the industrial school earned between 35 to 45 pence a week, without they would be unable to surprise.