About Our School

Transition to Tipperary’s first Community National School another pioneering moment for proud St. Mary’s Junior Boys School

By John Gunnell, Principal

Click here to read Tipperary ETB’s Press Release

The transition of St. Mary’s Junior Boys’ National School to a co-educational Community National School catering for children up to 6th class is another milestone moment for a pioneering school which has always had an ethos of always putting children front and centre of everything it does.


St. Mary’s Junior Boys’ National School has had a unique place in the history of education in Nenagh; the thousands of boys who walked through its doors and experienced a very special caring environment over its 108 years bears testimony to that.

Now, however, it’s all about what’s ahead and the move to a Community National School secures not just a bright future for the school itself but for the children of Nenagh who will benefit from the town’s and the county’s only multi-denominational co-educational English-speaking school.

This move restates the emphasis this special place has on being a caring and respectful school and the pride we have in our roots in the town of Nenagh, our heritage and our bright future.

We are a pioneering school, a school of ‘firsts’, a school that has never been afraid to make big decisions and take on new challenges as long as they are right for our pupils and right for our community.

Our school stood up and was counted when not just Nenagh, but the wider North-Tipperary area and beyond needed a special speech and language class many years ago. Today that same and very special Speech and Language class ‘Chatty Kids’ is delighted to welcome pupils from all over North Tipperary, from Nenagh, Roscrea Templemore and Thurles and is especially proud of this co-ed offering for boys and girls.

We were also the first school in the area to identify and respond to the needs of children with autism to have their own classroom where they could grow, flourish and reach their full potential. For many years we have been pioneers in this area, welcoming girls and boys into our Sonas special early intervention ASD classes; another moment when the junior boys responded to a need of its community.

The decision to open a multi-denominational Community National school in Nenagh is following in that vein – the school again in pioneering mode as it paves the way for an inclusive and diverse educational facility in the town of Nenagh.

This will be the first CNS to open in Nenagh and the largest school to divest to ETB patronage in the country. We are deeply honoured to be chosen as the pilot school for transition to Community National School in Tipperary and are fully committed to continuing this wonderful legacy as a centre of learning and development and one that is always willing to respond to the educational needs of our children, our town and our community.

We look forward to opening enrolment for junior infant boys and girls early in the new year and are happy to meet any prospective parents to discuss all that our school has to offer.

We are a very open school and welcome contact by email, phone or in person from parents as they consider what is the best option for their son or daughter.


Click the link below to read about Community National Schools