Our history

The origins of Scoil Mhuire gan Smál dates back fifty years when it first opened, with two teachers and twenty-nine students. It was then located in the Emer Ballroom and students remember getting desks and chairs ready in the mornings after a dance.

In the late nineteen-fifties there was a change of location when the founding Principal, Ms. Peg O’Connor, purchased a bungalow in the Station Road. This was to remain the campus for many years and was purchased by Mr & Mrs Gerard O’Beirne in 1962. The total enrolment that year was 47 pupils and four of these sat their Leaving Certificate in June 1963. Secondary education was at this time an expensive luxury that few could afford, the fee for the school being the equivalent of the average monthly wage.

In 1953 the Irish Sisters of Charity had begun teaching in the girls’ primary school in Blarney, and they were invited by the O’Beirnes to take over the fledgling secondary school in 1965. They were to remain in control of the school until 1989. Sr Joseph Marie Reidy arrived as the new Principal and presided over the building of a Science and a Domestic Science Laboratory.

Later in the sixties there was a revolution in second-level education with the arrival of free education and school transport, and this resulted in a huge increase in the number of students able to attend a secondary school. A caravan was purchased to act as staffroom and some classes were taught in the Hall further down the Station Road.

In 1971 a new school was approved and this was when the school first moved to our current location. It was designed to accommodate 250 students, but numbers continued to rise throughout the 1970’s and a new extension to the school was built in 1980. Sr. Joseph Marie retired as Principal in 1981 and was succeeded by Sr. Carmel Kelly. A wider choice of subjects was ensured for students when further laboratories for Science, Engineering, Construction and Technical Graphics were added in a new Technology Suite.

In later years a Computer Laboratory was added, and this has been regularly upgraded, so that the school is now an outreach centre for postgraduates of the University of Limerick. .

The Sisters of Charity withdrew from the school in 1990 and the Bishop of Cloyne accepted Trusteeship of the school. 
Mr. Paddy Buckley, who had been Vice-Principal for many years, was appointed Principal and served from 1990 – 1997. Donal O’Gráda 1997-1999. Joe Whyte 1999 – 2009 and Padraig Sheehan 2009 to date.