The present school opened as an eight-classroom building on July 1st, 1971. Maynooth faced a rapid growth in population in the 1970s and to cater for increased enrolments, a further eight classrooms were added in 1980. In 2010 a further extension was completed in January of that year. Phase one of the construction comprised of three classrooms, four resource rooms, a new P.E. Hall and an upgrade of the existing building. The second phase of the extension consisted of a two-storey extension with 6 classrooms and a Junior Assembly Hall.

Front stone wall of school with Presentation Girls' School Maynooth sign

However to understand the history of Presentation Education in Maynooth, we have to go right back in time to 1823 when the Presentation Sisters opened their first school. They had responded to a request from Abbé Anglade, a professor in the newly founded Maynooth College. He asked them to provide education for young Catholic girls which was absent in Maynooth. Fredrick Augustus, Third Duke of Leinster, agreed to a ninety-nine-year lease of a disused Charter School and approximately two acres of land.

The small community lived and conducted classes in Charter House for Catholic girls in the parish. They immediately set about building two large rooms to be used as a school. In addition to Reading, Writing, Maths and Religion, the girls were trained to make straw hats and embroidered clothing, influenced by the Duchess of Leinster in Carton House and her relative Lady Louisa Connolly in Castletown House. Old school account books record regular payments for such items by the Duchess and her friends.

The first National Schools in Ireland were founded in 1831. In 1834/1835, the sisters decided to use their premises as a national school. The next extension to Charter House was built by the Community in 1877 at a cost of £700. Records also show that a four-room extension was built at right angles to the main building in 1922.

In 1870, an old Georgian residence Crom Abú Lodge and garden (situated on the site of the present school car park) was purchased by the sisters. This building was used to provide further education for girls leaving Primary School. The girls were taught shorthand and typing and trained for positions as secretaries and similar occupations.

The sisters made an outright purchase of the convent property and purchased another field bordering Carton Avenue in 1925.

In the 1960s, it became evident that the Primary School was in a state of disrepair and it was equally evident that Maynooth faced a rise in population. The field beside Carton Avenue was an ideal site for a new school. Crom Abú Lodge was demolished in 1970 to make space for a car park adjoining the new school.

The first lay teacher came to the ‘old school’ (in Charter House) in 1961. From then on, the number of sisters on staff gradually lessened and the number of lay teachers increased. The first lay principal, Mrs Breda Boylan, was appointed in 2003. The presentation sisters continued to visit the school in a voluntary capacity right up to 2017.

Nano Nagle, founder of the Presentation sites, had a vision that an educated dedicated Catholic laity would continue her work. To this day the dedicated staff in our school continue the ethos and aims of Nano Nagle as they work to support and educate the pupils of this school in an environment of care, understanding and respect.

Presentation Day 2023
Celebrating Nano Nagle 1718 – 1784