On the 8th October 1957 the Daughters of Charity made their first appearance in Ballyfermot. At that time there were a number of boys aged 6 years and older who had no school place, as De LaSalle and the Dominican schools were full to capacity and as a result these boys wandered the streets. The then parish priest, Reverend Charles Canon Troy, was not happy with this and so he sought special permission from the Department of Education to set up a school for a dual day. One hundred boys were to be taught in the morning from 9am until noon and then a second cohort was to attend school from 12 until 3pm.
The venue chosen for the school was a play centre hall on Kylemore Road. Fr. Troy appointed a lady living locally named Mrs. Butler to be a leader in the school. She was sent for three weeks’ training to the North Strand Technical School and there she learned strategies for dealing with children. The Daughters of Charity, who were known locally as “The Butterfly Nuns” because of their habit, purchased small tables and chairs. Two teachers shared a room with 50 children facing north to look at their teacher and the other 50 facing south. All children faced the same way for singing and religious instruction. All tables and chairs had to be stored away at 3pm daily as the hall was used by other children in the evening.
On the day the school opened the parish priest introduced the Sisters, blessed the parents and children and vanished! Parents came forward with their admission cards and left their children in the care of the teacher. The subjects taught at that time were the 3 Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic. The pupils were also prepared for the sacrament of First Holy Communion.
Land on Drumfinn Road was chosen as the site for a new school building. On the 1st July 1960 six rooms were ready in St. Louise’s Junior School. The dual day continued meaning the school had 12 classes, each with 50 pupils. The first girls were admitted to the Senior School a year later on 1st July 1961. The following month the Sisters moved to the convent located directly beside the school on Drumfinn Road. Previously they had to travel from Mountjoy Square or from Glenmaroon. The school continued to flourish under the guidance of the Daughters of Charity.
In 2002 St. Louise’s Junior School appointed its first lay principal, Ms. Kathryn Crowley. In 2011 when Sr. Justine retired from the senior school the junior and senior schools were amalgamated and under the excellent leadership and guidance of Ms. Kathryn Crowley continued to provide a holistic education for the young people of Ballyfermot. Kathryn retired in January 2018 and Alma Quinn is the current principal. She is proud to continue the tradition of education established under the auspices of the Daughters of Charity more than sixty years ago.