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History of Scoil Iosa

On the 14th of October 1851 the horse-drawn mail coach from Sligo drew up in Pearse St. Ballina. Among the passengers were six members of the Mercy Order from Sligo, three professed Sisters, two Novices and one Postulant. They were met and welcomed by Rev. Patrick Malone, the Administrator of the Cathedral in Ballina, who had requested Sisters to come and work among the people and help to educate the children.


The Sisters lived in Pearse St. in an unfurnished house and later they moved to Primrose hill on the outskirts of the town, where they lived for four years. They visited the homes and gave instruction to children and others. In December of 1851 the principal teacher of the Girls’ School in the town retired and the sisters were given charge of the school in Teeling St. which up to 40 years ago was the only Boys’ school in the town.

By 1855 the Community had grown to eight members, including four postulants. Within a few years of coming to Ballina, they were teaching in three schools. More fundraising was done and money was borrowed so that another school – a primary school was opened for girls and boys in 1885. 


However, probably due to an increase in numbers, the Sisters returned to the old school in Teeling St. in 1907 with the infant boys and they remained there until the present infant schools were built in 1939. In September 2007 the Scoil Íosagáin Infant Boys School and Scoil Chroí Íosa Girls School amalgamated to form a mixed boys and girls school under the Principalship of Mrs Sheila O Grady. Mrs. Sheila O’Grady retired in 2015 and Mr. Michael Tunney has taken over the role.