History of the Holy Family N.S.

The town of Ballyshannon is well served by schools particularly Primary schools. Down the years Ballyshannon has been noteworthy as a centre of Education with even one of its streets being called College Street.

The De La Salle Brothers and the Mercy Nuns saw fit to open schools in the town. The Mercy Order in the 19th Century, the De La Salle brothers in the early 20th Century. Holy Family shares in the history of both religious institutions beginning life as St Joseph’s N.S under the control of the De La Salle Order in 1963 and becoming part of the Mercy orders history since 2001 when St Josephs and Our lady of the Angels (opened in 1967)  primary schools amalgamated .

The Sisters of Mercy opened their convent , St Catherines Convent in 1867.Though it would take another 80 years before they would open a secondary school which they did in 1947 they met the needs of the town’s children in the field of education as a primary school. The De La Salle brothers set up their first school in 1912 on college street but moved across the river and renovated the Old Fever hospital in the 1920s. Like the sisters of Marcy the brothers as they became known locally set up a secondary school on the same premises as their primary school until in 1963 they opened up a separate and brand new  primary school which would be known as St Josephs although curiously the name on the the tablet on the water tower of the school bears the name Fr Tierney N.S. after the priest who served as curate in the nearby church until his untimely death in China in 1947.

Our Lady of the Angels was well served for years by Sr Regina and Mother Michael and laterally by Sr Ursula and Mrs Frances Daly.Sister Ursula served as principal of the school until the amalgamation and spent most of her teaching life in the school. The De La Salle brothers were well served by the likes of Brother Fidelis,Brother Canis and Brother Ciaran until the departed the town in 1973. Mr Hugh Mc Gowan took over as principal until his retirement in 1983. The present principal Conor Carney took over in 1983.

With the promise of a new school to be built on the site of St Joseph’s N.S in 2001 the two schools amalgamated. A school extension has been agreed with the Department but as yet the plans are on hold. In 2013 the school received word from the Department of Education that the project to complete a planned extension to the school on East Rock could continue. The tendering process is underway at the time of writing.