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Mass to mark closing of St Joseph's Secondary School, Doon, Co. Limerick

The Board of Management of St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Doon, Co. Limerick

Mercy Education Doon 1868-2013

Would like to announce that on the 24th of May, 2013 at 7.30 pm mass will be celebrated in the Parish Church, Doon to mark the closing of the school.

Light refreshments to follow in the local community centre.

St Joseph's Secondary School, Doon will finally close its doors in June 2013 following the amalgamation of St. Fintans Christian Brothers School (ERST), St Michael's College, Cappamore (Co. Limerick VEC) and St Joseph's Mercy Secondary School (CEIST).

The new school is called Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa, click here to view further information on the school website.

Turning of the Sod

The “Turning of the Sod” for the new school called Scoil na Trionóide Naofa, took place on the green field site at Doon, Co. Limerick on Tuesday 11th December 2012.

The construction company BAM commenced building works on a 15 acre site donated by the Mercy Congregation, at Liscaugh, Doon, Co. Limerick.

Scoil na Trionóide Naofa will cater for 850 pupils and will open on September 1st, 2013. This is a particularly significant event for CEIST and for the Principals, staffs, students and the parents of the three existing secondary schools, St. Joseph’s, St. Fintan’s and St. Michael’s College.

Click here to view our Turning of the Sod website article published last December.

Brief History of St Joseph's Secondary School, Doon

Doon Convent was founded in 1865. It was the brain-child of Rev. Patrick Hickey P.P. who realised that a sound system of education was the only hope for the deprived people of the area. He had a grand-niece in the Convent of Mercy, Kinsale, Co. Cork and he invited sisters from Kinsale to come to Doon, which they did in February 1865.

Religious instruction and visitation of the sick were the main works carried out by the first Sisters of Mercy. They had no school so they instructed groups in the garden. In 1867 the Archbishop of Cashel visited the Convent (the Parish Priest's house) and gave the Sister's permission to build a school. The school was opened in 1868. Due to the closure of the National school and overcrowding in the Convent school an additional storey was built in 1878.

The children were taught Religion, English reading and writing, instrumental music and singing and crafts such as embroidery and painting. A small boarding school was started for those children who were too far away to attend daily.

Stanley's Education Act of 1831 had given state aid for the National Education or Primary education in Ireland. In the beginning this applied only to none denominational schools but after 1846 a compromise was reached between the Catholic interests and the British government. The result of this was religious orders accepted the state-aid system of Primary education and integrated into it a special time for religious education at the end of the day. This was the system that the Mercy Sisters operated in Doon.

Education since 1924
In 1924 the new Dail Eireann dissolved the Board of Commissioners which had been set up by the Stanley Education Act. All the powers and functions of this commission were transferred to the new Department of Education. Irish became an important subject in the school curriculum so the Sisters began to learn Irish and took a qualifying examination in Irish. They prepared students for the Senior Oxford in 1921, established a Secondary Top in 1924 had a Matriculation class in 1925. In 1928 pupils sat for the Intermediate Certificate. In 1930 the first secondary school was built. The first group of Leaving Cert pupils sat their exam in 1936. The subjects presented were Irish, English, Maths. French, History, Geography and Drawing. Latin was also taught though not for examination as yet. In 1940 the Secondary Top gave way to the new Secondary school.

During these years the pupils were prepared for music exams, piano and violin. Plain chant was introduced and the Senior Choir was often awarded the diocesan cup for Plain Chant. Secondary School choirs won the National Trophy, the Pigott Cup, three times in succession in the early 1960s. Light operas were produced annually in those years.

The number of pupils grew over the years. Free education, introduced in 1966 gave a further increase. New school buildings were added to accommodate the increasing numbers. In Sept 1961 the final permanent school building was opened.