St. Mary’s is a co-educational primary school which caters for 293 pupils. Located just over 3 miles south of Dundalk in an expanding village, the area has still managed to retain its idyllic, rural charm. The local Tidy Towns Committee is very active and has had great success at county and national level.
Knockbridge (Cnoc Bríde) is steeped in local history and legend. The region features prominently in the Táin Bó Cuailgne series and ‘Cloch an Fhir Mhóir’, a standing stone at the edge of the village, is reportedly the place where Cúchulainn made his last noble stand before he died. The River Fane which flows through the village is believed to be the place where Queen Meabh of Connaught rested her army before she undertook to battle with Cúchulainn to secure the Brown Bull of Cooley.
There is currently a teaching staff of 16 in the school including the principal, Mr. Brian McDonnell, as well as two ancillary services staff and four special needs assistants.In the late ‘60’s Kilcroney N.S closed and amalgamated with Knockbridge N.S. As the village grew, so too did the need for a larger premises. In 1969 the present school was opened next to the original building which now houses the local community centre and a busy creche. An extension comprising of 2 new classrooms, a G.P. room, a staff room and an office were added in 1999. In 2006 the Dept. of Education and Science approved the provision of 4 extra classrooms to replace existing prefabs. Work on this project, as well as a new entrance and considerable modification of the existing building, was completed in September 2008. A new carpark was constructed to the rear of the extension and extensive landscaping has been carried out both to the front and the rear of the school.
In 2010 the school undertook further improvement work to school infrastructure when the decision was taken to construct a new hall as well as a PC Lab. This was the most ambitious project to date as considerable funding had to be sourced through local contributions. However, in December 2011 Halla Setanta and Seomra Bríde were blessed by Bishop Gerard Clifford and officially opened by the former Ceannn Comhairle Séamus Kirk T.D. The pupils, staff and parents of the school are now reaping the benefits of much hard work, ambition and community cooperation. Our school has had a total investment of over €1.3 million and is being used as a template for other primary schools with similar ambitious projects.
In 2016, the BOM of the school erected a beautiful ornate perimeter railing around the front of the school premises. This project was part funded by the Dept of Ed and has provided extra security for the school’s occupants as well as aesthetially enhancing the school environment and streetscape of the village.
In time for the upcoming school year, 2018/2019, we have just completed work on a further extension to the school by building an extra classroom as well as 3 new SET rooms, a disabled toilet facility and some storage.