St Mary's Grammar School

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Coordinates: 54°45′25″N 6°36′04″W / 54.757°N 6.601°W / 54.757; -6.601

The St. Mary's Grammar school emblem with the words "Gloria deo soli", Latin for "Glory to God alone"

St Mary's Grammar School (Irish: Scoil Mhuire Machaire Fíolta) is a grammar school in Magherafelt, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. St. Mary's was founded in 1927. Ten girls were enrolled in the first year under the principalship of Sister Tracey. The school flourished and grew throughout the 40s under the principalship of Sister Marie Therese Harte. With the school's continued academic success, the need for more accommodation became urgent and in 1954 the first extension was built.

September 1978 marked a significant milestone in the history of the school: 37 boys were enrolled in St. Mary's along with 587 girls.

In 1984 new accommodation was again required. Under the leadership of Sister Immaculata O'Connor, Principal (1977-1995) the Friends of St. Mary's was formed with the purpose of raising funds to finance the building programme. The £6 million extension was formally opened by Cardinal Daly on 8 December 1994. It includes a large sports hall, fitness suite, science block, technology block -drama/lecture theatre, careers suite, Sixth Form study area and general purpose classrooms. Tennis courts, grass and all-weather pitches complement the indoor sports facilities. In 2003, the school trustees completed the latest phase of the development programme when Cafe Bordeaux and the new classroom extension were opened.

The school's first lay Principal, Mrs W A O'Kane (1995-2004) was responsible for further enhancing the academic reputation of the school and widening its extra-curricular portfolio.

Today, St. Mary's Grammar School has over eleven hundred pupils on roll, with an equal ratio of boys and girls and serves three counties: Londonderry, Antrim and Tyrone.

September 2004 marked another beginning in the school's history with the appointment of its first male Principal, Mr D A Lambon.[1]

The school has many extracurricular societies, such as Club Mhuire, a Young Pioneer group, girls and boys football teams, Highly successful camogie teams, French clubs, geography club, science club and many more.

St. Mary's Grammar School achieved All-Ireland Camogie success in 2007.

The current principal is Mrs D Gillespie.

On 17th March 2017 St Mary's won the MacRory Cup for the first time in their history beating St Colman's College, Newry on a score line of 0-19 to 0-13 in Athletic Grounds, Armagh.

Geography Club[edit]

The Saint Mary's Geographic Society (Geography club) is currently run by geography teacher Alison Stevenson with help from fellow head of department Cora Bradley and Una McNeill. The club is for years 8-10 however senior students (years 11-14) are welcome to come to help the teachers with the organisation of the club and its many projects.

F1 In Schools[edit]

Team Hurricane from St Mary's Grammar School won the 11 – 14's National Finals in 2005. They then returned the following year and won the 11–14 age group and the overall winners trophy.

Two other separate teams, one being Team Blade, won the Northern Ireland championships in 2007, The other, Team F1 Falcon, won the national 16–18 age group in the same year.[2]

Club Mhuire[edit]

Club Mhuire is the Irish Language Society. Organised by 6th form pupils, it provides opportunities for students to interact, and partake in activities, through the medium of Irish. They meet at lunch time each week, and activities include quizzes, bingo, and teaching students how to make St Brigid's Crosses (Crosóg Bríghde). There are also themed events at Halloween and Christmas. Student who excel in the various activities get to win prizes which are always linked to the Irish Language, such as Gael Linn or Foras na Gaeilge merchandise. It was founded in 2006 with the help of Dr. O'Neill and Miss Harte, two of the school's Irish teachers. It is now facilitated by Mr Mac Feilimí and Miss McGouran.


Siansa took part in the Geal Linn music compition where there was 8 groups in the final, which was held in the National Concert Hall and our group came 3rd, winning 750 euros. Their performance was broadcast live on Radio na Gaeltachta conducted by Mr. G Quinn, as part of the Bronze Art Award performance.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "St Mary's Grammar School Magherafelt". Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  2. ^ "Welcome to the UK F1 in Schools Website". F1 in Schools. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 

External links[edit]