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Your Student Leadership Team

In St. Mary’s, we provide you, our pupils, with a wide range of opportunities to develop your leadership skills.


Jake Donnelly  Anna Gribben


Ferghal McGuigan

Eimear McKernan

Ferghal McKenna

Caoimhe Mullan

Daniel McNamee

Conal Logan

Dominic McAteer

Hannah Maguire

Maria Carey

Niamh McLarnon


Jake Donnelly

As Head Boy, it is my privilege to welcome you to St. Mary's Grammar School.

Being asked to write this address has prompted me to reflect on my time in St. Mary’s and, as I look back on the six wonderful years I have spent in this school, I realise that it is impossible for me to convey in a finite number of words even a fraction of the truly enjoyable and enriching experience I have had in this outstanding school.

St. Mary’s is renowned for its strong academic profile and, each year, its pupils are congratulated and commended for their excellent examination performance. However, this success does not occur by chance but is, I believe, attributable to the hard work, support and dedication of the school’s staff, including teaching and teaching support staff. The strong rapport fostered between staff and pupils in the school creates a warm and friendly learning environment in which pupils feel comfortable, cared for and valued, while the positive school atmosphere motivates and inspires pupils to learn. It is important factors such as these which ensure that St. Mary’s pupils fulfil their potential.

As I cast my mind back over my time in St. Mary’s, academic achievement is only part of what I have experienced in the school. Among the many things that St. Mary’s has taught me is the fact that academic success is not the only thing to define a person. St. Mary's endeavours to provide pupils with a broad range of opportunities to shape their holistic development and I have personal experience of the benefits of the school’s commitment to extra-curricular provision. I have refined my debating skills and developed my leadership qualities as a member of the Student Council. I have enjoyed being a member of a team as I regularly represented the school on the Gaelic field. I have built international relationships with pupils from our Dutch and German partner schools and I have skied in the Alps. However, in the summer of 2015, I had the most humbling and rewarding experience when I travelled to India with Saphara – an experience that confirmed for me just how lucky the pupils of St. Mary’s are and how much we take for granted.

When you join St. Mary's, you join something more than just a school. You join a community and you quickly begin to feel part of that community. Within that community, you find the people who will be your friends for life and the people who will give you so many opportunities to learn, grow, laugh and achieve. Whatever your aspirations may be, St. Mary’s will help you to realise your ambitions. My advice to every new pupil would be to get involved in the life of St. Mary’s and take every opportunity you are offered during your time in the school.

When I walk out of St. Mary's for the final time in a few months, it will be emotional parting from a place that has been like a second home to me and from people who have been like an extended family. I will always cherish my memories of St. Mary’s - from that first day in September 2011 to the Upper Sixth formal in September 2017 and everything in between.


Anna Gribben

I am pleased, as Head Girl, to have this opportunity to welcome you to St. Mary's Grammar School and to share with you my experience as a pupil of this outstanding school.

I can still remember that day in 2009 when I entered St. Mary’s for the first time as a pupil. The welcoming and caring nature of the school was immediately apparent and I quickly knew I had made the right choice in joining St. Mary’s. Throughout my time in the school, I have observed how the teaching staff and teaching support staff are committed to the happiness, well-being and success of every pupil. Working together, they guide and encourage each individual to fulfil his/her potential, both within and beyond the classroom.

St. Mary’s has a proven record of academic success, with its pupils excelling in public examinations each year. However, the school achieves so much more than examination results. St. Mary's offers a wealth of opportunities to its pupils - including academic, extra-curricular and enrichment activities – to support the rounded development of its young people. A broad menu of activities - including sport, music, drama, debating and many competitions - caters for the individual interests of pupils and provides everyone with the chance to develop skills, try something new and mix with other members of the school community.

When I joined St. Mary’s, I could never have imagined the vast range of amazing opportunities that would be presented to me in the school. My passion for sport was nurtured through my involvement in the school’s football and camogie teams. As a team member, I honed my sporting skills, developed strong friendships and enjoyed success by winning many Ulster Colleges’ medals. I also had the opportunity to experience new sports, including cross-country running and athletics.

It is often said that travel broadens the mind and, throughout my time in St. Mary’s, my learning has been enhanced through travel to many destinations, including those close to home and those further afield. From mountain trekking in the Antrim Hills as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award to skiing along the beautiful slopes of Austria, I have enjoyed numerous travel experiences. However, there are two experiences which, for me, were hugely rewarding and memorable. Firstly, travelling to India with Saphara to teach English to underprivileged children was a humbling, life-changing experience for me. Secondly, travelling to Strasbourg as one of 24 young representatives from Ireland through the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, I had the opportunity to debate in the European Parliament in front of 600 people. Both of these experiences have helped to shape me as a person, broaden my horizons and encourage me to view the world from different perspectives.

As I enter my final year as a pupil of St. Mary's, I am saddened knowing that my time in the school is coming to an end. However, I know I will carry the friendships and memories I have made here with me throughout my life. St. Mary's has been instrumental in preparing me for the future and I look forward to embracing the opportunities and challenges ahead.

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