Sancta Maria College, Ballyroan

Mission Statement

Faith development of students requires a partnership between Home and School. It is therefore very important that families understand the philosophy of our spiritual care of students. We have far more understanding now than we had, say thirty years ago, of the stages of faith development and how it partners intellectual and emotional development. Teenage years are a very important time of spiritual development.

Our spiritual care of students aims to help students to discover their own talents and abilities, to grow in self-knowledge and self-awareness as part of their own search for their own Truth. During teenage years, young people move from a literal, uncritical acceptance of Faith to a questioning of everything; during teenage years a person begins to form her own views of the world and her own personal philosophy of life.

Teenage years are a time of questioning, exploring and establishing one’s own identity and exploring one’s own sense of meaning. Everything we do in Sancta Maria is aimed at supporting that questioning and exploration.

For exploration of the spiritual in our lives, particular supports are the Religious Education Programme, daily prayer and the Chaplaincy service. An appropriate and well-designed Religious Education Programme is implemented in each Year Group. The Programme aims to develop knowledge of religious traditions, to develop and support Faith and to develop an awareness of morality and social justice.

To give students opportunities to celebrate the Liturgy, the College Chaplain and the Religious Education teachers arrange Masses, Reconciliation Services, Retreats. Staff and Students support projects and collections for charity, including a project for street children in Kenya. A small group of teachers and students travel to Kenya on a biennial basis.

School History

In 1932 there was an isolated house in Ballyroan owned by the Mc Cabe sisters. They wanted to sell their house but failing to get a proper price, they decided to give it as a gift to the sisters of mercy as another sister was a member of order.

The community in Carysfort, Blackrock were very excited about this and they decided to turn it into a business home for business girls who came for Easter and summer holidays. St Mary’s Convent, as it was then known, was opened and blessed on 26th July 1932. Sister Mercy (Mc Cabe) was lighter of the sanctuary lamp at the opening mass.

When, in 1942, the Red Cross was looking for a suitable place to treat children in the early stages of tuberculosis, or children whose mothers were suffering from the disease, the archbishop Mc Quaid approached the Superior of Carysfort, and St. Mary’s became a previntoriom.

This work lasted from 1943 to 1959. The place was self sufficient with gardens full of fruit and vegetables. A gardener lived in the lodge at the entrance to the convent and a steward was housed in the farm to look after cows. Milk was an important part of the children’s diet.

In 1960 a number of housing estates were built in Ballyroan and the need for a school arose. Once again Dr. Mc Quaid contacted the Mercy Order and on the 8th of September 1960 Sancta Maria College was opened. It was boarding, senior day and junior private school.

There were 23 borders and 12-day pupils in the senior school and 35 children in the junior school were both boys and girls attended. There was a staff of 4 in senior school –3 sisters and 1 lay teacher; in the junior school there were 3 sisters.

As the years passed, the number of pupils and staff increased. The boarding school was phased out and priority was given to a day school.

The school’s expanded from there and in 1966 a new primary school was opened and still thriving. In 1980 a new building was added to the secondary school and the old one was reconstructed. As the area grew new extensions were continually being added and in September 1992 there were 912 students attending sancta Maria College.

The school facilitates in a wide range of extra curriculum activities particularly in sport and music. It also has had groups participating in Young Scientist Competition, Young Entrepreneur, and various debating groups in Irish and in English and many other activities.

The sports available in school vary from football, Gaelic and soccer, camogie, basketball, badminton, hockey and athletics. Teams from all of these sports and individuals have done extremely well over the years and continue to do well up to the present day. There are a lot of trophies to be seen in the school for these events.

The students take part in a musical every year. They also have the opportunity to join the Dublin Secondary Orchestra and Dublin Secondary School Choir if they wish.

Over the years some students have been involved in Dublin Grand Opera Society when children were required for their productions.

In 1999 the Sisters of Mercy moved out of the convent and the convent and surrounding land was sold to the GAA for £4 million. The price was way below market value at the time.

The site was to be used for the benefit of young people in the area. The land is developed in sports fields and a gym which is available to students in both the Secondary and Primary Schools during the day and used by the club after School and weekends.


Ballyroan, Dublin 16





Ms. Gerardine Kennedy

Deputy Principal:
Ms. Marguerite Rowan