St. Mary’s School

In December 2009, Deaf Heritage Centre approached Alvean Jones about the possibility of setting up a group that focused on the heritage of St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls. Using Facebook and Youtube, an open meeting was called. This meeting took place at St. Vincent’s Deaf Club in Drumcondra in January 2010.

At this meeting, which was well attended, the issue of preserving St. Mary’s Heritage was discussed and ideas shared on what needed to be done. A video version of minutes of this meeting was posted on Youtube. However, at this time a committee was not established. This meant little was done between 2010 and 2012.

However things changed in 2012 when Josephine O’Leary successfully formed a committee for the St Mary’s Deaf Heritage group. With the committee in place, a lot of sterling work took place, and this is still continuing.

St Mary’s Deaf Heritage carries out the following work:

  • Preserving the history of the school
  • Collecting memories of the school shared by former pupils and staff
  • Organising conferences and reunions such as the ones in June 2013 and in September 2016
  • Organising tours of the school buildings connected with St. Mary’s, such as the Old School and Rosary School, such as the one which took place in November 2014
  • Carrying out further research, which resulted in the publication of a book called “Through the Arch”, in September 2017. Such research continues
  • Production of videos in ISL on various topics relating to the heritage of St. Mary’s
  • Attending and giving presentations in relevant conferences on the subject
  • Fundraising and creating awareness, such as the 1851 diet where five women stuck to a dietary schedule that was designed for girls at the school in the 19th century, to raise funds for the refurbishment of two plots at Glasnevin Cemetery.

People must bear in mind that a lot of the above work was carried out and is still being carried out on a voluntary basis. So donations to St. Mary’s Deaf Heritage would be gratefully received, and put to good use.