Latest news from St Mary’s…


Fáilte chuig suíomh idirlíon, Scoil Mhuire Náisiúnta, Cnoc na Rásaí, Cill Dhéagláin, Contae Na Mí, A84X762

0157_bunting-blue_01_grandeWelcome to the website for Saint Mary’s National School, Racehill, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, A84X762

 Start here…go anywhere…

    Fón: 00 353 (1) 8351299 

 Faics:  00 353 (1) 8351556

E-mail:   (Principal)


Uimhir Rolla: 19768u

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Click HERE for the old St Mary’s site. 

We celebrated Down Syndrome Day on Thursday, March 21st by wearing odd or colourful socks to school.

It was great fun. See the socks in Ms Kelly’s Senior Infants Class below…

At Assembly, several children explained what Down Syndrome means, including about the extra chromosome possessed by those with Down Syndrome. See the picture…

The Senior Infant pupils pictured below are explaining in Lámh, a language used to help us all communicate easily and clearly. Well done children!



5th Class had their Showcase for the Junior Entrepreneur Programme recently in the hall. 

At the beginning of proceedings, Principal, Mr O’Connor praised the pupils, their teacher, Ms Louise O’Connor  and the super-supportive parents for undertaking such a complex and challenging project.

The participants gave a wonderfully clear explanation of the entire process and all the invited guests were really impressed with the students’ ability to present their project and make money at the same time!

After the speeches, there was a food fair with lots of goodies for sale and an Ariosa coffee station! There was even a cooking demonstration, using one of the delicious recipes from the book. Well done EVERYONE involved!

We are so proud of you all!


Maith sibh uilig…

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019

Bhí slua rudaí eagraithe don tseachtain glas i mbliana.

Ina measc; siopa milseán trí Ghaeilge, dhá cheolchoirmeacha, Tráth na gCeist, Ceilí Mór, BINGO trí Ghaeilge, comórtaisí Ghaeilge labhartha,   srl!

Seo iad buaiteoirí an Comórtas Seanfhocal Ranganna a 5 agus a 6, ag fáil duaiseanna, ag Tionól an Aoine os comhair na scoile le déanaí.

Maith sibh uilig!

Rang a Ceathair ag tabhairt taispeántas damhsa don scoil le linn ceolchoirm a bhí sa halla, Déardaoin!

Le déanaí, bhuaigh Scoil Mhuire Tráth na gCeist trí Ghaeilge, i gcoinne na bunscoileanna áitiúla, a bhí eagraithe sa leabharlann. 

On Friday the 8th of March, twelve students from St Mary’s were chosen from Ms Moroney, Ms O Connor, Mr Cawley and Mr Slattery’s class to compete in a Trath Na gCeist in Ashbourne Library. St Declans, Gaelscoil na Mí and St Marys were against each other.

There were six rounds in total which were made up of general knowledge, movies, sports, books and a picture round. After each round spot prizes were given out which added to the fun and excitement of the day.

In the end, team 8 won, a St Mary’s team, which consisted of Matthew Holmes, Maisie Barrett, Rachel Mahon and Zac Brennan McMahon. Thanks to Ashbourne Library for a great day.

Maith sibh a pháistí!


Bígí linn i rith na bliana, ag ceiliúradh ár dteanga is ár gCultúr.


Labhraimís Gaeilge le Chéile!

Naíonáin Shinsearacha a rinne na tuaranna ceatha seo thuas.

Maith sibh a pháistí!


Sergeant Dineen and Garda Grainger attended St. Marys National School, Ashbourne, on 8th March 2019.
Ms. Daly’s 6th class were the winners of our Schools Road Safety Campaign and were rewarded with a visit form the Garda Dog Unit.
 A great day was had by all!

World Book Day 2019

Here we have Ms Flaherty’s 2nd Class dressed up as their favourite characters from books they love! What a colourful group!

Well done girls and boys. Keep reading !

If you see a book,

read it!


Pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th represented St Mary’s at the Córfhéile Primary Schools Festival in the National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, on the evening of Monday, March 4th!

Well done to the choir and their choir mistress, Ms Biggs.

Maith sibh!

Click HERE to view a video of the choir at the Córfhéile recently.

Congratulations also to Third Class who performed at the Córfhéile, playing their recorders on Thursday. Well done children and teachers!!!

Click here for the video of their performance. 


At Assembly on Friday, February 15th, We said goodbye to Ms Kathleen Dowling, who  has retired from teaching after 23 years with us here in Saint Mary’s. The children played recorder and sang for Ms Dowling and the prayers were all in thanksgiving for her tireless work for the children of Ashbourne over the years. Ms Dowling was presented with some lovely gifts in recognition of her work in music, craft and education in general. 

Chairman of the Board of Management, Mr Pat O’Connor thanked Ms Dowling for her work in St Mary’s and wished her well in the years ahead. Principal, Mr Paul O’Connor, also thanked Ms Dowling for her work with all the children she taught during her career and for her kindness and friendship to everyone she came into contact with throughout her time here.

In her speech, Ms Dowling thanked everyone for their kindness and friendship over the years and she asked the children to remember her by focusing on the good things in life and by being good friends to each other.

As you leave us Kathleen, we would like to thank you most sincerely for all the wonderful times we shared, in working together since 1995. God bless!

Beir bua is beannacht!

Séamus from ZEEKO gave talks to the 4th, 5th and 6th Classes recently, on Internet Safety.  He also gave a talk to parents in the school hall the same day. We were delighted to see such a good turnout for this extremely relevant and informative talk.


Change the culture! Say “NO!” to cyber-bullying!

One very useful idea to encourage children to do fun activities in real-time was the “Balance Jar”.

Fun real-time activities such as painting, playing football and more are written on ice-pop sticks. Before allowing our children to go online etc we can ask them to select a stick and go do that activity right there and then. 

The children go off and have fun!

You then pop the stick into a jar to remind you of which activities have been done recently.

According to parents who’ve used this idea, children really enjoy this approach and it helps to create a healthier mix of real-time and virtual activities for children!

To check the age-ratings for games, movies etc click on…


Green Schools Poster Competition Winners!

Pictured here, with Green Schools’ Coordinator, Mr Ó Brádaigh are the winners of the Green Schools Poster Competition. The standard was extremely high and the judges had a difficult job choosing the finalists.

Thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to the winners!

We had a great time at the RDS recently for the last night of the  Peace Proms 2019.

The music was out-of-this-world and every one of our forty-plus choir members performed beautifully.

Thanks to Ms Wylde for organising the entire venture and to all the children who took part in our lunchtime rehearsals for months before the concert!

We are tremendously proud of you all!

Ms Wylde, coordinator, and teachers, Ms Biggs and Mr O’Byrne, who were all so proud of the St Mary’s Choir in the RDS.

We are connected with thousands of other pupils around the country, all learning how to stay safe in the amazing world of the internet! Join us!

This is Séamus, with his amazing freehand drawing of a map of China. This amazingly accurate drawing was done recently when 2nd Class were studying countries of the world.

Well done Séamus!

Ms Kelly, Ms Moroney and their Junior and Senior Table Quiz teams who represented St. Mary’s on Friday night in The Pillo. Both teams narrowly missed out on progressing to next round but represented the school so well and they had an absolute ball doing so! Parents and children delighted at the end of the night! Maith sibh! (Pic by MrÓBradaigh)

Pictured above is Ms O’Connor’s 5th Class following the judging of their projects in class recently. We are very proud of them all for their work. More details to follow… Watch this space!


We are a singing school and we love to get together and sing, just for fun. This includes our Friday Assembly. From time to time we will post the song we sing at Assembly here. Enjoy…

It’s rugby season………..

Leinster, Champions of Europe!

Kevin, coach of several under-age teams from Ashbourne Rugby Club paid us a visit this week to show us the European Champions Cup AND the Pro-14 Cup, both of which were won by Leinster in a very successful season!

Classes from 4th to 6th took part in a question and answer session with Kevin and they were all then pictured with both cups. We are very grateful to Kevin for coming to see us and we are proud of our own connections with the Leinster team in general and with Ashbourne Rugby Club in particular! See below for pictures…

We have a new Green Code!

Green Code Competition Winner,   Leanne R.  in front of her winning entry at Assembly recently. Well done Leanne!  See below…

Click on NEWSLETTER below to download the latest issue…

The Passage Tomb at Newgrange.

The entrance to the tomb as visited by Sixth Class on November 13th.

Ms Daly’s Sixth Class at Newgrange Passage Tomb.

It was an   absolute pleasure to be with this group of young historians.

Mr Cawley’s Sixth Class outside the Passage Tomb at Newgrange.

It was an absolute pleasure to go on this trip with these pupils.


Coin Trail 2018 Winners Announced!!!

At Assembly recently, Noreen Wilson from the Parents’ Association, announced the winners of the 2018 Coin Trail.

The hall was buzzing with excitement and anticipation as each and every child wished for their class to be the one to win this year’s star prize of a class trip to Melt, Ice-Cream Parlour in Ashbourne!!!

And the winners are…

Ms Moroney’s 5th Class took 1st prize and Ms O’Brien’s 4th Class took second prize in the Senior Section.

Above: Class representatives, Kayla and Heather, from Ms Moroney’s Class receive their Melt Invitation to Party from PA representatives, Noirin Wilkie, Rebecca O’Brien and Noreen Wilson.

Bravo, Class!!!

Ms Milligan’s Junior Infants Class took the Prize in the Junior Section.

Well done to you all, girls and boys!

Mr O’Connor expressed his (and our) sincere thanks to EVERYONE who helped in any way. The monumental task of counting and banking the coins collected was cheerfully carried out by members of the Parents’ Association and we are really grateful!

The final amount raised for the school was…..

Noreen Wilson shows us the exact amount raised… €5312.12


Non-uniform Day for Kyle — From Us to YOU!

Above: Principal, Mr Paul O’Connor with the cheque for €1550 which he presented to Kyle’s mother, Janine, along with Kyle’s teacher Ms McGuone and SNA Ms Byrne.

We are very happy to have been able to hold our first Non-Uniform Day of the school year for Kyle Fitzgerald in Ms McGuone’s Junior Infant class.

The monies raised will go towards the fund dedicated to allowing Kyle access the latest treatment in the US aimed at enabling him to walk.

Google, “Kyle’s Wish To Walk” to find out more and make a donation!

Well done and thanks to everyone involved.

Thanks to everyone who dropped in a bag.

We will let you know soon how much we made for the school.

Before Halloween…

Meet the 3 delighted Halloween Raffle Winners with our Principal, Mr O’Connor.

At Assembly recently, our Principal, Mr O’Connor thanked the Parents’ Association for organising three beautiful hampers full of Halloween treats for the Halloween Raffle.

Assisted by pupils from various classes who drew out the tickets, Mr O’Connor was delighted to present the prizes to the three lucky winners, pictured above.

Well done to everyone involved in this fun activity. All funds will go to fund school projects for the benefit of all children in Saint Mary’s.

Thank YOU for supporting us by buying tickets in such numbers!!!


It’s time for a new Green Flag! If we are successful, this will be our seventh flag! The new Green Team was elected in September and they have been sharing their ideas and bringing ‘green messages’ back to classrooms! The theme is ‘Global Citizenship—Litter and Waste. Do you have any ideas for our new Green Code? It must be short and catchy and easy to remember! There will be a suggestion box at the Green Notice Board in November. If we pick your code, you’ll win a great prize!

Meanwhile, keep to the motto: REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE!

We held a Fire Drill in school recently. Everyone was really impressed with the way the children responded to the alarm so quickly and so calmly. We emptied the school in under two minutes!

Well done everybody!

You might try a Fire Drill at home to make sure that everyone in your house can get out quickly and safely! Good luck.

A delighted Saint Mary’s Principal, Mr Paul O’Connor is presented with a cheque in the amount of €14,000 by Ms Aoife O’Shea, Vice-Chair of the P.A. This cheque represents the amount of money raised for projects within the school, by the Parents’ Association in the past year.

The Saint Mary’s Parents’ Association AGM was held in September in the School Hall. Our new Principal, Mr O’Connor was present to hear a full report of the Association’s activities during the past year. The meeting, chaired by Ms Johanne Maher, was well attended and extremely informative. Johanne gave a Powerpoint presentation on the fund-raising events held during the year and explained how things work. Several new members joined on the night. The new committee have promised to be just as active this year as they were last year.

The first activity of the year, “The Coin Trail”, was a huge success. The prize was a class outing to Melt, the ice-cream parlour in Ashbourne!

With every cent of the over €5k raised going to fund projects to benefit ALL school pupils, everyone’s a winner!


Gone but never to be forgotten…

The news of the passing of our friend and former colleague, John (Johnny) O’Sullivan has left our school community of Saint Mary’s with a sense of great sadness and a feeling of huge loss.

Having commenced teaching in St Mary’s in 1982, Johnny spent 29 years as a teacher, many of those also as a parent in the school, as his six children all attended here.

Johnny was a very dedicated and committed teacher, who loved imparting knowledge, which he had in abundance, to the many students he taught over the years.

Outside of the classroom, Johnny gave so much to our school – his “100 Question Quiz” challenged and stumped even the most fervent of quiz experts and he often acted as quizmaster, (as well as setting the questions) at many fund-raising quizzes held by the St Mary’s Parents’ Association.

Always obliging, Johnny drove countless busloads of children to football, rounders & soccer matches and always lent a supporting voice from the sidelines to the players and their coaches. Johnny was a great believer of Saint Mary’s being part of the wider Ashbourne community. He demonstrated this by encouraging the pupils to donate items each Christmas to the St Vincent de Paul Appeal.

Johnny’s strong links with St Mary’s remained, even after his retirement, continuing with many of the aforementioned involvements and also helping out at the annual Christmas Bazaar, with the selling of raffle tickets.

Johnny O’Sullivan was a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher who was committed to Saint Mary’s. The staff, both former and present, along with the Board of Management, wish to express our deepest sympathies to his wife, Brenda and their children, Colm, Aoife, Maeve, Ciara, Deirdre and Eileen.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Many thanks for visiting us! 

Recently we were delighted to welcome some local footballers to the school.

The ladies in question – Maire O’Shaughnessy, Aoibhin Cleary and Judy Bobbett, from Donaghmore-Ashbourne Club, lined out on the Meath Team for the Intermediate Ladies All-Ireland Football Final on Sunday at 1:45pm in Croke Park. 

Welcomed by Principal, Mr Paul O’Connor, the players talked about their route to the final and there then followed a Q and A session led by the senior pupils.

We have personal connections with this mighty team. Aoibhin Bobbett has a brother and a sister in our school and Maire O’Shaughnessy is the sister of our staff member, Mairéad McGill.

We thank them for visiting our school and we wish these talented ladies all the best for next year!!!

Up Meath!!!


Make sure that YOU are safe on the way to school this Autumn. Watch this…


Click HERE for Advice on Internet Safety!

The Board of Management, Staff and Parents’ Association welcome the appointment of

Mr Paul O’Connor


Principal of Saint Mary’s.

We are all very excited to welcome our colleague Paul in his new role as Principal of our school. We are certain that he will continue to promote the positive ethos of Saint Mary’s to the benefit of the pupils , the parents and staff. 

We are looking forward to the future with you at the helm.

Well done Paul!


Mr ÓhÓbáin held his last Assembly on Wednesday 28th of June  at 11.00am in the school hall. The whole school assembled to wish Mr ÓhÓbáin well and to present him with some gifts and reminders of his work with us in Saint Mary’s.

Following prayers and readings for Mr ÓhÓbáin, read by a selection of pupils from many classes we sang one of his favourite Assembly Hymns, “We’re here Again” which got us off to a great start.

Mr ÓhÓbáin thanked everyone he had worked with during his 9 years with us and he was thanked in turn by the Chairman of the Board of management, Mr Pat O’Connor.

Pupils from many classes who had maintained 100% attendance during the school year were awarded with a lovely certificate. 

Next,the Jack Barrett Awards were presented by Mrs Kate Barrett, to Amy Spratt and Michael O’Sullivan, two sixth class students who displayed the characteristics of hard work, friendship and respect  we value in Saint Mary’s, throughout their time here.

The Chairperson of the Parents’Association, Johanne Maher, presented the Principal with a beautifully painted “Friendship Bench” as a reminder of Mr ÓhÓbáin’s big ideas of respect and care for each other. 

The children presented Mr ÓhÓbáin with a garden centre voucher so he can buy something appropriate for his garden at home. They also presented him with a giant book of memories from each and every class. This included fond memories of Mr ÓhÓbáin and pictures drawn by the children. It is a lovely book.

During the ceremony, Sixth Class sang “Time of Your Life” with the words altered to wish Mr ÓhÓbáin well. The junior classes sang a lovely selection of Jolly Phonics songs spelling out Mr ÓhÓbáin’s name.

Finally, the entire school sang a rousing rendition of “The Dublin Saunter” as an acknowledgment of Mr ÓhÓbáin’s Dublin roots.

Then Sixth Class paraded through the hall for the last time and exited via their block to begin their well-earned Summer Holidays and the rest of their hopefully, happy and fulfilling lives. We wish them well.

The very last thing on the agenda and a tradition at this time of year in our school was when the pupils moved into their new positions in the hall, recognising their imminent transfer into their new class for next year! There was much excitement as everyone had a look at the hall from their new vantage point, looking forward to September and more exciting adventures!!!

It was a lovely celebration of Mr ÓhÓbáin’s time with us and we were delighted to be able to wish him well in his retirement.

Thank you, from all of us!

Beir Bua Is Beannacht!

Grad Mass 2018

At the Sixth Class Graduation in June, School Chaplain, Fr Derek Darby celebrated a special Mass of Thanksgiving for the lives of the young people leaving us this year.

Following the mass, outgoing Principal, Mr Dónal ÓhÓbáin praised the students for their positive contributions to the life of the school over their 8 years with us. He also advised them in ways of staying safe as they venture out into the world. Finally, Mr ÓhÓbáin gave some good advice to the parents on how to support their children in the exciting and possibly challenging times ahead.

Following the Mass refreshments were served and everyone got the chance to chat and reminisce about fun times shared together.

This occasion was a great opportunity to thank MrÓhÓbáin for his massive contribution to the development of Saint Mary’s over his 9 years and to wish him well in his retirement. It was a lovely occasion.

Race Winners From Sports Day Receive Their Medals!

Check out the gallery below!

Thursday, June 21st,

(the longest day of the year)



The Green Team  with Mr Ó Brádaigh and Ms O’Connor were kept busy organising a great display in the Hall. All classes did fantastic work over recent weeks. We were delighted to see all the projects on green issues and the constructions made from found materials! 

Check out the gallery on the Green Day Page!

It was really great!



Congratulations to all the participants and winners in the relay races and the Principal’s Cup, run during school on Tuesday. 








We’ll be back…

Pictured above, with Principal, Mr Dónal ÓhÓbáin,  are the Boys’ Senior and Junior footballers and their teachers, with the O’Byrne Cup, recently won again  by the Meath team, containing some Saint Mary’s past-pupils!

(The Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup is a Gaelic football competition organised by the Leinster GAA. The competition is named after Matt O’Byrne, a former Wicklow GAA club officer. The participants are the eleven county teams which field a football team… Kilkenny do not field a football team.)

We were looking forward to our Senior Boys competing in the final against St Colmcille’s BNS,  Kells on Saturday!!!

The road to the final…

On the 9 of June 2018 we played Kells in the Cuman Na mBunscol final at 2 o clock. This is how we got there. Our first match was against Dunboyne in Donboyne who we beat well with great performances by Danann Donnelly and Daniel Holmes. Our second match was against Whitecross who were missing a few players  so we beat them by 5 goals thanks to Adam Power and Cian Dowling. Our third match was against Canistown and solid performances from Conor McNally and Ben Cox saw us the win.

In the quarter final against Kildalkey we were down at half time but with Captain Eoin Kelly and leading scorer Michael O’Sullivan coming off the bench we won the game. In the semi final we faced Whitecross again. Great performances from the fourth class Ross Wilson and Dara Maher we were in front at half time. Unfortunately we went 2 points down with ten minutes to go. Thankfully Niall Daly scored an unstoppable goal with eight minutes to go. Whitecross went on the attack but didn’t break through the defence of Oisin Daly, Daniel Holmes, Andrew Skelton, Leon Holmes and Troy Mahon until the very last minute but a great save by Jodev Puchon got us the win.

We were really looking forward to the final and we would like to thank Mr Giblin, Mr Cawley , Mr O Connor and Mr Halpin.

By Oisin Daly

After a superb display of quality football from both teams in sweltering conditions, Kells emerged the winners after rallying in the last ten minutes of the game.

We in Saint Mary’s are immensely proud of you all, boys and we thank you and your mentors, Mr Cawley, MrGiblin and Mr O’Connor for all your dedication and hard work over recent months!


Pictured above with Principal, Mr ÓhÓbáin are the Girls Footballers with their mentors, Ms Kavanagh, Ms Kelly, Ms O’Shaughnessy and Ms Flaherty with the O’Byrne Cup. Well done to everyone involved with football in Saint Mary’s!