Planning permission was sought for the change of use of the property from residential convent to tourism accommodation.

Apartment plan for former Trim convent approved

Plans to convert the former Mercy Convent on Trim's Emmet Street into 10 luxury apartment suites have been given the green light by Meath Co Council.

Local hotelier David O'Brien, who purchased the property from the Mercy Order in 2022, is now proposing to convert the convent into apartments for short term letting with the convent's chapel to be retained for use for ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms as well as events such as art exhibitions and retreats.

Planning permission was sought for the change of use of the property from residential convent to tourism accommodation in ten apartment suites and also for the removal of the modern toilet and bathroom block and the reconfiguration, refurbishment, repairs and alterations to the internal layout of the convent.

The convent is a protected structure and is located within the Trim historical architectural conservation area and the Trim zone of archaeological potential. All trees on the site are to be retained.

Built Circa 1867, the convent is a seven-bay two-storey, gothic revival house designed by architect William Caldback. The property has many uses in its lifetime, most notably a home for the local community of nuns and a boarding school for girls. A total of eight submissions were received on the planning applications including from the St Assumpta Prayer Group, the St Mary's Convent Action Group and the Eco-Advocacy Group.

Among the points raised in some of the submissions is that it is recorded in Cogans History of the Meath Diocese and the Meath Herald newspaper, which circulated at the time, that the remains of Fr O'Connell who built the convent and died in 1863 are interred in the convent chapel.

Meath Co County has granted planning permission subject to 12 conditions, one of them being that the tourism units are for short term letting only for up to one month and that use as permanent residential accommodation is not permitted. The property must be retained as a single planning unit and no subdivision or sale of individual units is permitted.