Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
St. Mary's Academy CBS
Railway Road, Carlow, Ireland.
A brief History of St. Mary's Academy CBS
In 1858 the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Dr. Walsh, invited the Christian Brothers to Carlow. On September 19th, 1859, three brothers arrived in Carlow to take charge of a new school which was situated in Montgomery Street. The brothers resided in an adjoining building. On February 1st, 1863, the Brothers acquired an old parochial school in College Street, close to Carlow Cathedral. Pupils transferred from Montgomery Street to College Street on April 15th, 1864. In 1897, at the invitation of the then bishop, Dr. Foley, a classical school, in which pupils were taught Greek, Latin and French, was opened. The number of students present on the opening day was seven.
The new Christian Brothers' primary school, named Bishop Foley School, was opened at Station Road in 1938.
By the early 1960's it was clear that the Academy in College Street was unable to cope with the number of students attending it, which at this stage had reached 160 so in 1960 a new Christian Brothers' Secondary School was built beside Bishop Foley Primary School at Station Road. It had accommodation for 300 students.
With the growth in student numbers, this new school proved inadequate and plans for an extension were drawn up. Work on an extension to the school commenced in 1975 and was completed in 1979. During this four-year period the number of students increased from 280 to 420.
On the 23rd May, 1979 the extension, which cost £200,000 was blessed and officially opened by the Bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Patrick Lennon. It comprised a library, a general purpose room, a woodwork room, an extra science laboratory, offices, a guidance suite and several extra classrooms. Playing fields were purchased at Oak Park from Greencore, in 1985. These were developed and available for use in the spring of 1987. Carlow Town Hurling Club also purchased a pitch in the same complex and built dressing rooms and a social centre. The club uses the Hurling Club pitches and their dressing rooms during school time while the club makes use of the school pitches for their activities.
In February 1986, work began on a 12,600 square foot gymnasium complex to cater for the complete range of indoor sports. This project was completed in 1987, and was officially opened at a special ceremony on May 15th, 1988. Mr. Anthony O'Loughlin was appointed as the first lay principal to the school. The first Board of Management took office. The last three Christian Brothers, Brothers Kavanagh, Sreenan and Leane, left Carlow in 1989 and the monastery reverted to parish use and now functions as a hostel, run by St. Vincent de Paul. The remains of the brothers buried in the monastery cemetery were transferred to St. Mary’s cemetery and the grounds were used to build Tinteán housing. However, the spirit and traditions of the Christian Brothers continue to thrive in Carlow.
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