Catholic Education has played a prominent role in the development of the Bungaree Parish and the district of Dunnstown for over one hundred and forty-one years.
The school had its origins in 1858 in a wooden building known as the Catholic School Shed, situated not far from its present site.
Throughout its history, the school has been staffed by a combination of religious orders and lay teachers. We owe a great deal to the teaching sisters of the Black Josephite Order, who taught here for ten years, the Presentation Sisters for forty-four years and the Sisters of Mercy for thirteen years, as well as the dedicated lay teachers who have taught in the school. Above all, as history shows, it has been the continuing support from the community that has enabled the school to endure and prosper for so many years.
The school was named by the Josephites as St. Brendan's around 1900, but when the church was built in the school site in 1905 and the school was moved to an area behind the church, it was renamed St. Mary's.
The old wooden building was replaced by a modern brick structure in 1952 and Bishop O'Collins placed the school under the patronage of St Brendan's.
A newspaper article published at the time of the opening recorded, "The School Committee had made itself responsible for funding the project (an amount of six thousand pounds) and the Mother's Club had furnished the school, and the Children of Mary had given it the finishing touches."
This community involvement continues today and success of the school and Catholic Education depends largely on the partnership between the community and the teaching staff.