St. Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh

Mission Statement

It is a Christian Community seeking to promote Gospel values, especially love and freedom in a dynamic partnership of Students, Staff, Parents, Trustees, Management and the wider Community. In a spirit of loving care and with a commitment to breadth, balance and excellence in education, we seek to develop the full potential of every student: academic, spiritual, moral, physical, cultural, social, emotional, aesthetic and vocational.


  • To provide an environment in which each person can live out her Christian commitment with opportunities for prayer, worship and a deeper understanding of the Christian way of life.
  • To ensure quality teaching and learning towards strong academic achievement.
  • To develop a warm, friendly, co-operative climate with mutual respect and a team approach to problem solving. Equality, justice and gender equity to pervade the school.
  • To make special provision for the weak and disadvantaged, enrolment to be non-selective.
  • To prepare students for life and for relationships; cultivating talents for the creative use of leisure and with the help of a comprehensive Careers Guidance Service enabling the formation of long term life goals and career plans.
  • To create an open-door policy towards parents whom we see as partners in the education process and whose involvement we welcome.
  • To provide opportunities for the personal/professional development of staff and to affirm their commitment and dedication.

School History

The history of the present St. Mary’s has its roots in a pension school opened in 1887, in a prison block of the old Gaol bought by the Sisters of Mercy. Girls ranging in age from 16 – 24 attended school in the early years.

In 1913 the ‘Round House’, or former Governor’s residence, became the Intermediate School.

1927 a Boarding School was opened in the building known as St. Catherine’s, the remodelled female infirmary of the gaol.

In 1929 the Intermediate School became St. Mary’s Secondary School.

Over the years it moved location more than once until in 1957 it finally moved to a new building – the core of the present school – in the convent grounds.

The centenary year was celebrated by building St. Joseph’s Block. In 1959-60 the boarding school was expanded and classrooms added.

The boarding school was closed in 1972 and its facilities transformed into classrooms.

St. Mary’s was one of the first schools in Ireland to introduce Transition Year in 1975.

A further extension was opened in 1980, providing office space and specialist rooms.

In 1982 a special class for students with special needs was set up.

St. Mary’s completed the building of a new sports complex and classroom extensions in 2007.

St. Mary’s Secondary School is a Catholic, all girls’ school under the trusteeship of CEIST.

News from St. Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh

28 Nov 2019
St. Mary’s Nenagh Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Christmas Shoebox Appeal This year St. Mary’s donated 150 shoeboxes to Team Hope Ireland, along with €300 which…

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20 Dec 2018
St. Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh Some footage of our Carol Service which took place today. Well done to our wonderful readers, choir…

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05 Apr 2018
Official Opening of New Wing for St. Mary’s Nenagh

Photos from the official opening of the new music room and new classroom for St. Mary’s Nenagh.  …

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