Parents of students at a secondary school in Sligo are being urged to appeal plans for its closure.

There are fears St Mary’s College in Ballisodare will close permanently in just over two year due to the decreasing pupil numbers.

A number of meetings were held yesterday evening at St Mary’s Secondary School in Ballisodare amid fears the school will close its doors permanently.

The trustee body for voluntary catholic secondary schools in Ireland has made recommendations to close the school in two and half years due to the decreasing pupil numbers.

The Board of Trustees at the school are now due to meet representative from Ceist again in March to discuss its decision further.

Cllr Marie Casserly, who is a teacher at the school, is now calling on Sligo County Council to write to the Minister for Education and for the Department of Education not to accept the recommendations of the Ceist Trustees.

She says parents are asked to appeal the decision by emailing or posting letters to the school with their concerns which will be discussed at the Ceist meeting next month.


Local Election Fine Gael candidate Thomas Walsh says parents were informed that enrolment numbers were falling for 13 years.

He says at no point was this communicated to parents which could allow a strategy be put in place to attract pupils.


This parent has two children attending the school.

She says everybody was taken by surprise when they first got word that the future of the school may be in doubt.

The CEO of Ceist says the decision to close St Mary’ College in Ballisodare is not one it wanted to make but enrolment numbers at the school have been falling over the past number of years.

Dr Marie Griffin says parents in the area have been enrolling their children in schools outside of town in recent years and this has led to a decline in numbers.

She says it will consider any submissions sent to them by parents of existing students in the college but as of now the school will likely close in just over two years’ time.