A scenic view of farmland in Ireland

Our Irish Connections

Carlow University, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, was named after Carlow, Ireland – which is home to Carlow College. Carlow University is to Ireland through its founders, the Sisters of Mercy. 

This timeline tracks the milestones of Carlow's Irish connections through the present day. 

1793Founding of St Patrick's Carlow College, in Carlow, Ireland.

1831Founding of the Sisters of Mercy by Sister Catherine McAuley in Baggott Street, Dublin, Ireland.

1837The sisters founded St. Leo's Convent on property adjacent to the College. The school, established in 1837 for the education of young girls, continues to thrive today.

1843Mother Frances Warde and six Sisters of Mercy left Carlow, Ireland, for City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with the first Bishop of Pittsburgh, Michael O'Connor, PhD.
Just as the city and diocese were taking shape the first Mercy community in the United States was being founded in Pittsburgh.

1929The Sisters of Mercy opened Mount Mercy College on September 24.

1969Mount Mercy College changes its name to Carlow, after the origin of its founders.

2007Carlow University sponsors the first Carlow Roundtable, a gathering, in Carlow, Ireland, of representatives from Mercy colleges and universities for the purpose of probing together the distinctive characteristics of a Mercy education.

Today  Carlow University stays connected to its Irish heritage by engaging in many education and cultural events and activities.


Carlow's Programs in Ireland and Irish Heritage

One of the ways Carlow University links to its Irish roots is through study abroad programs and cultural events. Students, faculty and staff have opportunities to learn about Ireland and Carlow's Irish heritage.  

Carlow Night at Mulaney's Harp and Fiddle 
Students, faculty, staff and friends periodically meet for dining and live music, often with Irish roots.



Irish Cultural Studies in Sligo, Ireland
Open to Carlow students and non-Carlow students
This two-week summer intensive course is offered in Sligo, Ireland, immerses students in Irish history and culture.


Carlow Cares: Sligo, Ireland 
Targeted to students interested in working with people with special needs
Open to Carlow students and non-Carlow students. Students participating in the program will stay in Sligo, Ireland, where they will be assigned to a school, hospital, or community setting which provides services to individuals with special needs. 


Celtic Business Summer Abroad 
For Carlow MBA students
This trip, offered in even-numbered years, affords the student the opportunity to explore the fascinating country of Ireland.


For MFA in Creative Writing students
The MFA in Creative Writing is a low-residency graduate program where students meet for four intensive residencies, two in Pittsburgh, PA, in January, and two in Ireland in June.


Open to Carlow students and non-Carlow students
In collaboration with Carlow College in Ireland, Carlow University offers a semester-long study abroad program in Carlow, Ireland. 


Year Abroad in Northern Ireland 
For undergraduate students
Through the Business Education Initiative, Carlow is able to send three students to study at Northern Ireland universities.  


From study abroad programs to Irish music performances, Carlow University continues to embrace and appreciate its Irish roots.