St Mary’s – background history of the building of St Mary’s as a Church of Ireland N.S in 1830

St Mary’s 1932 as a Church of Ireland, National School, with Sarah Ruttle Rayner at the top of the steps (Photo Anne Ruttle Carrig)

St Mary’s school was originally built in the 1830’s as a London Hibernian School. It was quite large for a primary school of its era, but that was because Askeaton was quite an important military base at the time so it had to cater for children of military families stationed in the locality.

It continued as this for over a hundred years. Then, due to a decline in the Protestant population in the area it closed and remained closed for about 30 years.

It was purchased from the church body in 1958 by Nora Hawkes. It had neither electricity nor running water. Bit by bit these were installed and in the early 1960’s it was loaned to the primary school for use while the new primary school was being built.

Front view of St Mary’s secondary school

Finally in September 1963, following extensive renovations, including the installation of running water and electricity, and a science hall, the pupils of St Mary’s moved from the Carnegie library to their new home in Church street, Askeaton.

Rear view of St Mary’s secondary school