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St Joseph’s school to keep its building

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St Joseph’s school to keep its building


Trevor Quinn

The future of St Joseph’s Secondary School in Charlestown looks a lot brighter after the Department of Education accepted an offer by the Marist Sisters to make the building available for the continuation of second-level education in the town.
Earlier in the year, when news broke that the Marist Sisters were withdrawing their patronage from 2014, many felt the long-term future of the school was under threat.
Commenting on the development, the school’s new principal, Austin Egan, said, “It would have been a tragedy if the school had to close. The school has given so much service to the town and surrounding area and is a big part of the community. People are very happy.”
Now that the Department of Education has given the go-ahead, the trustees can begin negotiations with Mayo VEC to discuss the hand over of patronage.
Deputy John O’Mahony, whose wife Geraldine is the school’s new vice-principal, congratulated staff members, students and the community. He said: “There was a lot of concern earlier this year when the news first broke that the Marist Sisters had indicated that they were going to leave the school … The whole community was concerned that if the Sisters left, secondary education would be lost to Charlestown. This would have been a huge blow to the region, not only in educational terms, but economically and socially as well.”
The Marist Sisters have been involved in the community and in education in Charlestown for almost 70 years.