Edmund Rice Heritage Centres

Callan , Co. Kilkenny

t: +353 56 7725141

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About Edmund Rice Heritage Centres

Edmund Rice Heritage Centres in Callan, Co. Kilkenny.

Edmund Rice was founder of the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 1996.

Edmund Rice was born to a farming family, under the shadow of the Penal laws, on June 1, 1762, at Westcourt, Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland. He attended the commercial academy in Kilkenny for about two years after secretly receiving his elementary education at the local 'hedge school' in Callan.

In 1779 Edmund was apprenticed to his uncle in the shipping trade and became a successfull businessman. He married Mary Elliot in 1786 but she died tragically 3 years later. Rice changed his course radically, sold off his business interests and started a primary school for poor boys. His vocation was to provide dignity to the poor especially through education.

All of Edmund's educational activities were illegal in the eyes of the 'authorities' in Ireland. Most Irish Catholics were effectively cut off from education and consequently cut off from social and political progress. By founding schools and teaching congregations, Edmund Rice, like Daniel O' Connell, was a liberator.

Edmund died on the 29th August, 1844.

The thatched house, "Westcourt", in which Edmund was born is almost 300 years old. The six roomed house consists of a kitchen, parlour, breakfast room and three bedrooms.


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