St. Mary's Secondary School, Charleville

Mission Statement

“In keeping with the Spirit of Catherine McAuley, the foundress for the Mercy Sisters, our school is committed to academic development, while also nurturing the spiritual, physical, creative and emotional needs and abilities of each student in a secure environment.”

Aims of School

  • To enable the students to become fully developed and integrated persons. To prepare the students by academic and practical training for adult living and to promote in them a co-operative spirit so that they can make a constructive contribution to society.
  • To enable the students to live in reverent relationship with all of creation and to nurture in them a respect for life and a care for the earth.
  • To enable the students to develop a healthy self-image with the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world and to live at peace within
  • To nurture in the students:

                o A sense of their cultural identity     o An appreciation of the diversity of cultures.

  • To assist the moral, social, cultural and political growth of the students.

School History

The sisters of Mercy for the education of girls founded St Mary's Secondary School.

Foundation stone of convent.

Sisters become involved in primary education at the then local primary school run by lay principal.

Secondary School was opened in a room in the convent (Pay School).

A new secondary school was built consisting of two class rooms which were on the campus of the fever hospital which had been built by the state in 1836 due to an epidemic of cholera.

Fever hospital closed and the building handed over to the sisters with proviso that if an epidemic broke out it would be available as a hospital again. This building in 1855 became the centre for the teaching of crafts in particular lace making. A qualified lace-maker was employed and products were sold to America and Australia. It was also used as an infant school and one classroom was used by the secondary for the teaching of science up until 1922 when a new science room was built - one of the first in the country.

The old fever hospital was condemned and a new infant school was opened in 1965. The secondary school renovated the building and used it for class. It was called after the Archbishop Mannix who was a native of Charleville.

1970 – 1975
Between 1970 and 1975 two new blocks were added to the already existing secondary school building as an assembly hall, which is our circulation area and lunch room to this day. The numbers increased steadily. As a result of free education and free transport so a number of prefabs were gradually erected.

Negotiations for a new school were initiated with the Dept of Education, as conditions in the school were very primitive. Health and safety of the children and the staff was a priority with the trustees. The Department saw the needs were genuine and in 1998 the new extension was sanctioned. On October 26th 1998 the bulldozer pulled in and since then there hasn't been a dull moment!

In November 2000 a new school, on the same site was officially opened by the Minister Micheal Martin and blessed by Bishop John Magee of Cloyne Diocese.

 Pictured above is the Prayer Room in St. Mary's Charleville.







Mrs. Gillian O'Callaghan

Deputy Principal:
Ms. Maighread Finn