Abbey History

 
The Sacred Heart of Mary Background

In the 1870s Ferrybank was a place of extreme poverty. What was needed most was education, at both primary and secondary level, so that the people would have the qualifications and skills to find work, regain a sense of dignity and be able to support their families

Following negotiations between the Ossory diocese and the Sacred Heart of Mary Sisters in Beziers, Southern France (where they were founded) it was decided to send a community to serve the people of Ferrybank. The secondary school thrived over the years, reaching a total of over 500 students at its peak. The school took in boarders as well as day pupils so there was a great mix of students from many counties in Ireland. Despite the demolition of the old school buildings in 2003 the spirit of SHM still lives on. The original stained glass windows from the school chapel (later Gailhac Hall) have been beautifully incorporated into the Prayer Room in Abbey Community College and provide a focus in this room which is a quiet oasis in the new school. Light now shines through the windows of the past into a future of hope.

 The Slieverue Background

In 1951 members of the local community in Slieverue approached Co. Kilkenny VEC and asked them to provide adult night classes in the area. The Slieverue community undertook to provide the venue and the classes were held in the local hall. A day school soon followed with the appointment of a principal and two teachers. Eleven pupils started in the school - five boys and six girls. A new school was built in 1963 and that year all students sat the Group Certificate. The Intermediate Certificate was added to the curriculum in 1969 and the Leaving Certificate in 1978.

The school was the focal point of the Slieverue area and is still at the heart of the community as since 2000 the building has been converted into a Community Centre which houses the 'Jonah Project', a Play School and an Active Retirement Group

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Abbey Community College
Abbey Road, Ferrybank, Waterford

School Email: admin@abbeycommunitycollege.com

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Phone: (051) 832930
Fax: (051) 851110

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