The former secondary school building was the property of the Order of Mercy Sisters who established the second level school there in the early 1950s, providing the first second level classes for girls available in the region.

Through the decades which followed it provided the facilities for the secondary education classes which made an enormous contribution to the future of the thousands of students who attended the classes there leading to the Leaving Certificate Examination, which became their passport to successful careers.

The Sisters of Mercy came to Newport in June 1901 and opened their first school for infant classes in 1907 and also taught in higher classes at the “finishing school” for girls who had completed the national school.

These classes were conducted in another outside building, which became known as “The academy”. The subjects included needlework, embroidery, handcrafts, painting and music.

In 1910 work commenced on plans for a new national school for girls. The building, completed at a cost of £1,300 was opened in 1912. Around 1949 secondary school classes were started by the sisters when they received Department of Education approval for a “secondary top” and for the following 16 years both primary and secondary classes were accommodated in the primary school with the addition of a few extra rooms and a number of prefabricated buildings. Seventeen pupils enrolled for the classes at the “secondary top” in the first year and proceeded to Inter Cert stage. In 1954 the school became a full secondary school with an enrolment of more than 50 pupils and in 1956 the Leaving Certificate Examination took place at the school for the first time with four students sitting the exam.

Around 1960 it was proposed with the assistance of state grants to build a new primary school for girls and the new school was opened on the site at Limerick road in 1965.

By the mid-sixties the Convent of Mercy Secondary School was making history again by the decision to introduce co-ed classes and the Newport Secondary School became the first in the Order of Mercy in the country to provide second level education for boys when the first boys commenced the course.

In 2016 ‘Homework Hub’ was established on the site. A before and after school facility for school age children from Newport and the surrounding areas. At Homework Hub the aim was to create a ‘home from home’ environment where the team strive to help each child to reach their full potential educationally, physically, socially and emotionally. Offering a diverse range of physical and creative activities where children are engaged in hands on learning while socialising with other children.

In 2019 ‘Newport Tuition Academy’ was launched, offering Second level tuition in a variety of different subjects and weekend study.

2021 ‘Newport Community Playschool’ became ‘Laochra Beaga’ providing two years of free preschool and full day facilities all year round to children from 2 years 8 months to five years of age.

The former Convent of Mercy Secondary School was renamed in 2021. It is now known as ‘St. Mary’s Education Campus’.

While no longer a Secondary school, the campus itself will continue to be a centre of learning and education for children from preschool up to leaving certificate.

Elephant at sunset
Order of Mercy Sisters, second level school early 1950's