The History of Our School

In 1964 Fr. J. Johnson, Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Drogheda asked the Provincial of the Northern Province of the Irish Christian Brothers, to set up a post-primary school in his parish. In January 1965, a site of one and a half acres was acquired for a residence of a new community of Christian Brothers on the Beamore Road. The community began to live there on the 27th of September 1967.

In 1965 Brother Dan Moore was appointed Principal of the new Post-Primary school, which was to be under the management of the Irish Christian Brothers. It was to be known as St. Mary’s Christian Brothers School. It began small with just two teachers, Brother Moore and John Hurley and thirty-five pupils occupying the hall of the local Congress Avenue National School. They taught Irish, English, Maths, History, Geography, Science, Commerce, Latin, Religion and Games between them. They had five and a half days school per week, with Saturday from 9:30am to 12:30pm. There was a school fee of £10 per pupil, but no pupil was ever turned away because of a problem paying the fees. In the first year a private bus service was provided free of charge by Lawson’s Garage North Road to the students coming from outside the town which was much appreciated.

By 1968 the new school had been completed and all classes were able to be accommodated in the completed school which was a single storey building. It had nine classrooms and rooms for woodwork, geography, physics, chemistry, art and a library. A gym built from parent’s contributions completed the building. The new building was a terrapin building and given a life span of twenty-five years and capable of catering for 250 students.

Since those early days more than four thousand students have passed through the doors of the school. Their lives have been shaped and influenced by the education they received here. The Christian Brothers left in 1986 and the school became a Diocesan College under the patronage of the Bishop of Meath and became known as St. Mary’s Diocesan School.

The school itself has undergone dramatic developments since those early days, moving beyond its prefabricated buildings to the present school, which were eventually built and finished in two stages, in 1995 and 2000 and our new monastery building, completed in 2015, providing two additional science labs, a new art room and a music room, alongside an office, staffroom and storage space for each new room. There are further plans for expansion in the coming year for what is an ever-expanding school population, serving the town of Drogheda as well as the surrounding areas. Today St. Mary’s Diocesan School has a student population that is ever growing at nearly 900 students, with a staff of nearly ninety and is very much the centre of the local community fifty-six years on from its founding.