School History

After the foundation of the Sisters of Charity 1815, the Stanhope St. House of Refuge for young female orphans began on February 2nd 1819. It began with 14 girls, rose to 50 in 1824, 95 in 1863, reaching 150 by 1863.  Many of the girls were getting good employment, some as teachers and seamstresses, from this Industrial Training school. Rev. Gore of Arran Quay left £400 to build a ”poor school” in the area which opened on October 2nd 1867 and became Manor Street Female 9932 and Manor Street Infants 9933 under the Board of Education. The school worked very well with numbers at 450 in 1885, reaching 686 in 1897 when it was renamed Stanhope St. Convent National School. The recently demolished structure (2010) had just been built in 1897. Green uniforms of Foxford Tweed from the sisters’ factory in Mayo were worn for the Centenary celebrations in 1915 with a garden party, fireworks and the Artane Boys Band playing, in spite of War, Rebellion and Troubles in Dublin.

In 1921 with numbers at 1106 the old Monitorial System came to an end. The new National School system had arrived with Saorstat Eireann. The Irish language, which had been taught here after school, now became compulsory for one hour per day for all classes. School numbers rose to 1300 by 1930, working well and classes began for Intermediate Certificate. The first group sat for the exam in 1934 and there were three classes of 50 girls each for examination in 1938.  This Secondary Top continued successfully up to 1963 when students began preparing for Leaving Cert under Sr. Teresa Miriam, submitting for examination in 1965. Sr Peter Damian oversaw the transfer to the new Secondary School system 1966-68 as St.Joseph’s Sec. School  84C.

The present school building opened in 1977 with numbers rising to 546 with almost 40 staff. Sr. Catherine took over as head in 1986 and was succeeded by her Deputy, Mary Kavanagh, as Acting Principal. For much of the 1990’s Sr Mary Kernan was Principal and both Anne Cannon and Audi Healy served as Acting Principal for a time before the appointment of Tommy Coyle as Principal in 2003. Many changes have taken place during these years, both for students, teachers, parents and school administrators. Curricular change’ new programmes, alternative subjects, new methodologies all run alongside advances in technology which in turn reflect the wider modifications in society. Numbers here have reduced as a result of new schools opening in areas further from the city centre, obviating the need for long journey time to school. Numbers have settled around 300 pupils with 40% being students of International origin, who greatly enhance and enrich the cultural diversity of our school.