Sacred Space


Advent-Week One

The first candle is lit on our Advent Wreath. We are preparing for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. This means that we are doing our best to be good and kind to everyone we meet, both at school and at home.

Christmas is near!

We are busy preparing for our annual Bazaar and our Carol Concert.

Click Nativity Play Script 2017 for a link to the play we are using for our Christmas Concert.




Last school year (2016-2017)…

Our 6th Classes were Confirmed and our

2nd Classes received their First Holy Communion.

Sixth Class have graduated and moved on to secondary school. It’s been a busy year!


Back in time a little further…

Leading to Easter

March 1st – Ash Wednesday, was the first day of Lent.

Lent is the season when we remember the 40 days Jesus spent in prayer and fasting in the desert.

We try to be better people during this time, giving up something we like or doing something special for others.

We are marked  on the forehead with the sign of the cross in ashes. This reminds us that God created us and that we will return to Him one day if we keep his laws.

Classes from 2nd to 6th attended a prayerful service in the church.

At the service we received ashes from Father Derek and Father Ciarán.

We thank you, Father Derek and Father Ciarán for your dedication to the ministry and the care and attention you give to us in Saint Mary’s. 


Go Raibh Maith Agaibh!

We thank the Meath Diocesan Advisers who visited our school for their annual visit on Tuesday, December 6th. We were happy to see you and we enjoyed sharing our work with you.


In November, we remembered those close to us who have died…


The Tree Of Remembrance

November is the Month of the Holy Souls, when we remember in a special way, the people who are dear to us and who have died and passed on to the next life.

At Assembly recently, Ms Biggs’ 3rd Class gave all the children in the school an opportunity to write the name of one person they know who has died, on a beautiful leaf-shaped card.

Then, one child from each class placed their class leaf on a special Tree of Remembrance, for all to see. This tree will be on display in the School Hall for the month of November and is a lovely way to remember those we have loved in life.

We thank Ms Biggs and her 3rd Class for sharing such a thoughtful idea with the whole school community.

Perhaps this idea could became a school tradition, every November.



Statement from the Bishops’ Council for Education in response to Minister’s rescinding of Rule 68

Please click on the link just below to see the response of the Catholic Bishops regarding the rescinding of Rule 68, announced on Friday, January 29th. Thank you.

Response from the Bishops to Rule 68 Change


We hope that our two Second Classes and their teachers, Ms Dowling and Mr Cawley are really proud of themselves. They put in a huge amount of work on their prayers and songs for their First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 14th at 10:00am in our Parish Church.

 Congratulations to you all on reaching this big day. We saw you at the church and then back at the school for the traditional party.

You all looked really smart and you performed your jobs so well that we will remember this occasion for a long time.

After a few well-chosen words of welcome from our School Principal, Mr Dónal Ó hÓbáin, the ceremony continued with a beautiful selection of hymns sung by our choir of pupils from the two 4th Classes.

Congratulations boys and girls!!!

Many thanks to Ms McDaid and Ms Biggs for achieving such a high standard of music and singing. We were also delighted to welcome past-pupil and accomplished musician and Irish dancing teacher, Claire McGonigle to our music team. Well done Claire for your beautiful music on the piano!!!

Special thanks to our School Chaplain and Parish Priest, Father Derek Darby for the beautiful ceremony and the way he involved the children in an engaging and child-centered fashion.

We hope that everyone present will remember Father Derek’s sermon and his encouragement to bring our children to Communion regularly.

As always, we invited the children, their families and friends back to the school after the ceremony, where we met and shared a cup of tea/coffee and a biscuit in the school hall.

We were thrilled that so many of you joined us for what has been a Saint Mary’s tradition of hospitality for over 30 years!

The hall had been decorated with a beautiful children’s art display by the Special Needs Assistants. Many thanks to them!

The school grounds looked perfectly manicured and our many visitors commented on how lucky we are to work in such a beautiful environment.

Many thanks to our caretakers and to our housekeeping staff for the way they keep our school look so well. 

Thanks to EVERYBODY on the staff who helped to make Holy Communion Day so special!


Confirmation 2016

Congratulations to Sixth Class who were Confirmed by Bishop Michael Smith on April 9th in our Parish Church.

We are very proud of you all, girls and boys. Well done!

Congratulations and thanks also, to Parish Priest, Father Derek Darby who worked very closely with class teachers, Ms McGuone and Mr O’Connor in preparing the candidates for Confirmation Day.

We had a lovely get-together in the school after the ceremony and everyone had a great day! Well done!


Thank you Lord  for blessing us all in St Mary’s, especially those children in 6th Class who made their Confirmation on April 9th and 2nd Class, who are making their First Holy Communion in May.

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slán agus beannacht

Meath Diocesan Advisers!


November, month of the Holy Souls.

We remembered those who have died.

We were delighted to welcome our Diocesan Advisers to share our faith in word, deed and song on Thursday!

Maureen, Jo and Sister Annette,we hope you enjoyed your visit with us and that you left heartened and uplifted by our work here in Ashbourne.

Beir Bua Is Beannacht!


Bless us at school


School Mass 2015



On Wednesday, November 11th, at 11:45, our Parish Priest and School Chaplain, Father Derek Darby celebrates a special Mass for the opening of this new school year, in our parish church.

Pupils from Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Class attend. The School Choir sings a lovely selection of hymns and they are accompanied by the wonderful Lila Dunne on piano.

Lila has not been with us for a while  and we are delighted to welcome her back!

Children from all classes read specially prepared Prayers of the Faithful.

At this time of year,November being the month of the Holy Souls, we especially remember those members of our families and school community who have passed on to the next world.

This year, date of our Mass, November 11th is Armistice Day, when we remember ALL those who died in wars or any military conflict.

The first reading is read by Sixth Class. More pupils bring up the Offertory Gifts. Our pupils also act as altar servers.Everyone takes part in a respectful and reverent manner.

Thanks to all who contribute in any way, especially Father Derek.


Back in time…

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Mr Ciaran Giblin’s Sixth Class Confirmation Photo. Also in the picture is School Principal, Mr Dónal Ó hÓbáin.

Ms McNulty’s Sixth Class 2013

Congratulations to our Sixth Classes who made their Confirmation on Saturday, April 13th at 3 pm in our parish church, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Ashbourne. His Grace,Bishop Michael Smith confirmed our pupils and we were happy to be able to welcome Bishop Smith to Ashbourne for this very important occasion.

The Sixth Classes had been diligently preparing for months with their teachers, Ms Mary McNulty and Mr Ciaran Giblin, ably supported by our School Chaplain, Father Derek Darby.

Fifth Class, who  had been practicing their singing for many weeks also, did a great job on the day and made a great contribution to the ceremony with some beautiful music and solo singing. As always, our accompanist, Ms Lila Dunne brought a wealth of style and sophistication to the proceedings.

As is the Saint Mary’s tradition, the pupils, their parents, relations and friends were invited back to the school after the Confirmation ceremony for a cup of tea and a chat.

We were glad that so many of you joined us for what is always a most enjoyable part of the big day.

First Holy Communion 2013

Congratulations to Second Class who received their First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 11th at 11 a.m. in our parish church, Our lady of the Immaculate Conception, Ashbourne. School Chaplain, Father Derek Darby celebrated the beautiful Mass and Father Jim assisted with the distribution of Holy Communion.

The children and their teachers, Ms Glenda McAdam and Mr Liam Ó Brádaigh had been busily preparing for months and were well and truly ready for this big day!

The 4th Class Choir performed beautifully under the baton of Ms Mairéad O’ Shaughnessy, accompanied by organist, Mr David Burke. Indeed the singing was described as “heavenly!.

This is Ms Glenda McAdam and her Holy Communion Class with Principal, Mr Ó hÓbáin.

This is Mr Liam Ó Brádaigh and his Holy Communion class with Principal, Mr Ó hÓbáin.


Just a few thoughts…last year…




May was the Month of Mary, after whom our school is named and to whom our parish church is dedicated.

In May we remembered in a special way that God has given us His mother as our mother too.

Many classes had a May Altar in their class sacred space, with a statue of Mary and flowers, rosary beads and medals to remind us that Mary is there to ask Jesus for anything we need.

We said the “Hail Mary” every day and we sang songs of praise.




Saint Mary’s welcomed the Meath Diocesan Advisors to our school on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013. We’re glad you had a nice day with us and enjoyed what you saw and heard. Go Raibh Maith Agaibh!


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Life can be so busy that it’s hard to get time to think. In this space we will have a chance to pause and reflect on life, with a few positive words to help us along.

On Ash Wednesday, we remembered that we are made by the hand of God from the clay of the earth. It marked the beginning of the Season of lent, leading up to Easter. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert fasting and praying for us.

We are called in a special way at this time to change our ways and return to God and do good to others. On Ash Wednesday we went to church and we were marked on the forehead with a cross of ashes. The ashes come from the burning of the Palm leaves from last year’s Palm Sunday. We are told to,”Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel”

In trying to do good, many people decide to do something for others, such as helping out at home, working extra-hard in school or just trying to be kinder in general, for the 40 days of Lent.

Others decide to give something up that they enjoy, such as sweets, playing the x-box or watching tv a lot.

Again, many decide to give a little of their pocket-money to charity, to help the less-well-off. In our church, Trócaire is the organisation we often give to. We can get collection boxes for this charity in the Church or at school.

Whatever we decide to do (or stop doing!) we are trying to become closer to God. Helping each other is a good way to do this.

At the end of Lent comes Easter, when Jesus rose from the dead, proving that when we or someone we love dies, we are reunited with God The Father in heaven. This is a time for being very happy. We celebrate together and chocolate treats are often eaten.

As the Easter Holidays approach we hope you were successful in whatever YOU decided to do for lent in 2013!


In the week of prayer for Christian Unity, we prayed that God will help all Christians to become closer. to each other and to Him.

January 27th to February 3rd, was Catholic Schools Week.

The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2013 was:

‘Catholic Schools in the Community of Faith: Sharing the Good News’.

Catholic Schools Week 2013 was mindful of two major issues for the year 2013 (a) Year of Faith and (b) Share the Good News. The theme of CSW 2013 reflected both.


Absent Friends…

At this time of year,we remember in a special way, Ms Mary Cannon, former teacher in Saint Mary’s and Mr Jack Barrett, former Principal of Saint Mary’s.


Also check out this link...


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Father Derek Darby, our school Chaplain, presented special Commemorative Certificates to all the pupils who made either their First Holy Communion or their Confirmation this school year.

The certificates were presented at Friday’s Assembly on June 15th in the school hall and they’re special because they commemorate the International Eucharistic Congress held during the week of the 10th to the 17th of June in the RDS and Croke Park, Dublin. They will be something to treasure in the years to come.

Thank you Father Derek.


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Here, we have the class photos of those children in Second Class who made their First Holy Communion in May. We ask God to bless them, their families and teachers in the years ahead.

Have a great year everyone.