A Brief History of St. Paul’s N.S.
The earliest recorded national school in St. Peter’s Parish was the Deerpark N.S. established in 1845. It was a three teacher boy’s school in the upper storey of a very old two-storey building. The Dean Kelly opened in 1925. St. Peter’s Mercy Primary School opened in 1934.
The establishment and development of Lyster’s Woollen Mills in the early 1930s resulted in many new housing developments along the west side of the Shannon in Athlone. This contributed to unprecedented enrolments in St. Peter’s Mercy School in the 1950s and 1960s. It became evident that the Mercy School was not sufficient to cater for the needs of both junior and senior pupils. A decision was taken by the Mercy Congregation to set up a second school for boys in classrooms across the road from St. Peter’s School on Excise Street.
In 1957 Sr. Gerard Rogers became the first Principal of the new St. Paul’s Junior Mixed School. Plans were put in place to build a new school on Lyster Street for the Junior Pupils. The site was donated by the Sisters of Mercy in a field at the rear of the convent that was used for Physical Education by the students of Scoil Pheadair Secondary School. The secondary school was later re-located to St. Joseph’s College, Summerhill.
In September 1966, St. Paul’s N.S. Lyster Street opened it’s doors for the new junior infant boys and girls of the area. It was blessed by Very Rev Canon McCarthy and officially opened by the Minister for Education Mr. Donagh O’Malley on February 1st, 1967.
There have been many changes in education since then but the Catholic Ethos of the Mercy Sisters remains constant today.
In 2009, Little Acorns Montessori Pre-School was opened in the school.
The Sisters of Mercy transferred the Trusteeship of the school to the Diocese of Elphin in 2010.
In 2014, St. Paul’s N.S is a 16 teacher infant school that caters for boys and girls from junior infants to first class. The Principal, teachers and board of management are committed to ensuring that every child enrolled in the school is nurtured to his/her full potential in a safe, caring and stimulating environment.