Charlestown Secondary School in Co. Mayo
There was no Secondary School in Charlestown until 1935 when Miss Cahill of Main St, opened her School and employed two other teachers. It was the start of Secondary education in the town. The School building was situated at the top of Barrack St, to the rear of the old Town Hall and Power Station. The building is now owned by Miss Siobhan Byrne.
In 1943, Miss Cahill closed the School and moved to Dublin.
Then the Marist Sisters, with the approval of the Bishop, bought the property which consisted of a school and bungalow. On September 8th, 1943, the Marist Sisters took up residence, and were in charge of a recognised school. There were four teachers, three sisters and one lay, and a Sister who taught music.
The numbers increased and a house was purchased in Church St, it was formerly owned by the late John E Doherty NT and is now owned by Mrs Kay McIntyre. The Sisters moved in on January 19th, 1945. The bungalow was then converted into classrooms.
Land was acquired in Lowpark in 1952, and the foundation stone of the new Convent was laid on August 15th, 1952. It was completed and blessed on June 18th, 1953. It became co-educational in 1967.
There have been many vocations to the Priesthood, and religious life, as well as those pupils who succeeded in the highest professions.
The first Sister to teach in the National School, Sr Tomasina, was appointed on October 1st, 1953 in the boys School. Another Sister was appointed to the girls School in January1954. A new National School was opened in 1957 and the Schools were amalgamated in October 1970.
© Mrs Delia Henry, NT Retd, February 2nd, 2002