Statues, church brass, bookcases, and mahogany dining tables along with other items, went under the hammer at the Mercy Convent in Balloonagh, Tralee, today. Since Wednesday, hundreds of people have been through the doors, doing their homework ahead of today’s auction, or simply in for one last nostalgic look at the convent that first opened in 1858. Denis Lynes, of Lynes & Lynes in Cork, who is handling the auction, said it had generated a great deal of interest from overseas as well as from all over Ireland. The 17 remaining nuns have already relocated to various houses around the town. Sr Dorothea Foley said it was particularly sad for some in her community, who have spent 50 years in Balloonagh. However the donation of a number of pieces to the St Vincent de Paul Society has comforted the sisters.