Presentation Girls School Maynooth 1 628 6034

History of our School

The present school opened as an eight classroom building on July 1st,1971.  Maynooth faced a rapid growth in population in the 1970s and to cater for increased enrolments, a further eight classrooms were added in 1980.

Construction has been completed on the first phase of the new extension comprising three classrooms, four resource rooms, a new P.E. Hall, along with an upgrade of the existing building to include a new roof and new windows. The old P.E. Hall was refurbished to accommodate an office, a library, a resource room and two small group teaching areas. The school has been completely rewired. Broadband network points have been installed in each classroom. This new extension was officially opened by Father Liam Rigney on the 11th of February 2009.

The second phase of the extension was completed in January 2010. This two storey extension borders Charter House and has 6 classrooms and a Junior Assembly Hall in the area. We are delighted with our extended Junior yard, alongside a new Senior yard area bordering Carton wall. This allows for ease of access to the tennis court and the garden area.

However to understand the history of Presentation Education in Maynooth, we have to go right back in time to 1823 when the Presentation Sisters opened their first school.They had responded to a plea from one of the first professors in the newly founded Maynooth College. He asked them to provide education for young Catholic girls which was absent in Maynooth. Fredrick Augustus, Third Duke of Leinster, agreed to a ninety nine year lease of a disused Charter School and approximately two acres of land.

The small community lived and conducted classes in Charter House for Catholic girls in the parish.  They immediately set about building two large rooms to be used as a school.In addition to Reading, Writing, Maths and Religion, the girls were trained to make straw hats and embroidered clothing influenced no doubt by the Duchess of Leinster in Carton House and her relative Lady Louisa Connolly in Castletown House. Old school account books record regular payments for such items by the Duchess and her friends.

The first National Schools in Ireland were founded in 1831.  In 1834/1835, the sisters decided to use their premises as a national school.  The next extension to Charter House was built by the Community in 1877 at a cost of £700.  Records also show that a four room extension was built at right angles to the main building in 1922.  

In 1870, an old Georgian residence Crom Abú Lodge and garden (situated on the site of the present school car park) was purchased by the sisters.  This building was used to provide further education for girls leaving Primary School.  The girls were taught shorthand and typing and trained for positions as secretaries and similar occupations.  

The sisters made an outright purchase of the convent property and purchased another field bordering Carton Avenue in 1925.  

In the 1960s, it became evident that the Primary School was in a state of disrepair and it was equally evident that Maynooth faced a rise in population.  The field beside Carton Avenue was an ideal site for a new school.  Crom Abú Lodge was demolished in 1970 to make space for a car park adjoining the new school.  

The first lay teacher came to the 'old school' (in Charter House) in 1961.  From then on the number of sisters on staff gradually lessened and the number of lay teachers increased.  The first lay principal, Mrs Breda Boylan, was appointed in 2003.  The dedicated staff continue the ethos and aims of Nano Nagle, foundress of the Presentation Sisters.  Nano Nagle’s vision was that an educated, dedicated Catholic laity would continue her work.  While the presence of the sisters has diminished, they still provide invaluable voluntary service to the school and its community.