The population of Salthill was expanding rapidly, and the Sisters felt the need for a new girls secondary school, so that same year they started a ‘secondary top’, a first-year secondary school class which was housed in Scoil Íde. There were eight pupils in that class, Geraldine Kelleher, Caitríona Brazil, Marguerite Clarke, Mary Connolly, Elizabeth Conneely, Helena Bree, Maura Moore and Gabrielle McMurrough. The following year, this little secondary school increased by 100%, and by 1964 it was a full secondary top with three years. In 1965, this school moved from Scoil Íde to a house called ‘Salerno’ (which would give the school its name) in Rockbarton.
Some years later, Salerno moved to its present location on Threadneedle Road. It continued to grow rapidly as you can see from the size of the Leaving Cert class of 1979/80. They are, back row, left to right; Gráinne Connaughton, Fiona O’Dea, M. O’Brien, Charlotte Hogan, A. Kelly, Rose McGee, Maura Dowling, Mary King, Mary Heaney, Maureen Kearns, Martina O’Flaherty, Mary O’Farrell, Martina Warren and Judy Doyle.
3rd. Row; Jacinta Doyle, M. Ford, Nicola Garrett, D. Ward, Jennifer Lynch, Marina Hayden, Catherine Hickey, M. Molloy, Paula O’Meara, Patricia O’Flaherty, AnneMarie Carr, Mary O’Neill, Lisa Mahon, Anne Feeney, Anne Kelleher, Áine Lynott and Bridget Cleary.
2nd row; Sheila Holland, Louise Lohan, Mary Anglim, Mary Curran, Bernadette Deacy, Evelyn Hernon, Caroline McHale, Darine O’Byrne, Andrea Sheridan, Rosemary Forde, Deirdre Lally, Caitlín Nic Eoin, Áine McDonncha and E. Forde.
In front are Anne Commons, Anne Kilfeather, Orla Berry, Angela O’Dea, Finola O’Brien, F. Glynn, D. Kearns, Mary Morgan, Orla O’Flaherty, M. O’Connor, Orla Hanley, Camilla Cutlar, Orla Cahill and Aideen Allen.
At present Salerno is in the throes of further expansion. The school will celebrate its 50 Jubilee Year in 2102/13, so they have been compiling a database of past pupil’s contacts with a view to celebrating that notable anniversary. With this in mind, they are organizing a past pupils coffee morning in the Ardilaun Hotel on Sunday next, 8th May from 11am to 2pm. The purpose is to bring as many graduates as possible together to re-live the best years of their lives. It will be an occasion full of nostalgia. If you have any old photographs of your class or your team or your project or the school, please bring them along. The plans for the new school will be on show. If you cannot make it, you might send your contact details to June Smith at Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno, Threadneedle Road, or you can email her at
Finally, a correction to a mistake in last week’s column about currach racing. The 1957 final was awarded to the Mayo Champions, Clare Island, after 5 crews were disqualified, but Clare Island would not accept the cup under those circumstances and so the race was run again two weeks later in Kilkee. This time the Joyces from Inis Bearacháin were the victors, so in fact they won the title three times in a row, 1956, 1957 & 1958, and then they won it again in 1961. Ní bheidh a leithéidí ann arís.
Please forward any queries/comments to
View the Old Galway Archive.