The former house of Mr Needham Thompson, purchased by Thomas Fegan for the Mercy Nuns, had to be altered and renovated to suit its intended purpose as a home for poor and distressed women.
Over time, with improvements in living standards generally and better Social Services, a new type of resident was admitted – older and more feeble. This necessitated the employment of lay staff. The 1970s saw modernisation and progress. A lift was installed. Holidays were arranged for residents. The children especially enjoyed the Chalet in Omeath, purpose-bought by the Sisters, where they could easily and safely enjoy the peace and beauty of Cooley.
In 1977 a new purpose-built Home for the children, called Orana, was opened on the adjacent site. Though entailing a sad separation of young and elderly, it afforded an opportunity to completely refurbish the Home to modern standards. Provision for married couples was incorporated into the renovations.