Mary Aikenhead, who was a Cork woman, founded the Religious Sisters of Charity in 1815. Her aim, in response to God’s call, was to make available to the poor what the rich were able to buy in the areas of health, education, social services.
In 1857 the Sisters of Charity started teaching girls at St. Vincent’s. The school changed and developed through the years to meet the needs of the community it served. The first record of students sitting state examinations dates back to 1931 when eight girls sat the Intermediate Certificate Examination. For many years there was a “Secondary Top” attached to the Primary School.
In August 1974 St. Vincent’s Secondary School came into being with full recognition as such by the Department of Education. A new building for the Secondary School was opened in December 1979 under the Principalship of Sr. Bríd Forde. She was succeeded as Principal in 1989 by Sr. Eileen Doyle. The following year Sr. Patricia Dockery became Principal. In 1998 Ms. Josephine Coffey, a past pupil and member of staff was appointed as first lay principal of the school. Mr. James Deane is the current principal.
The spirit of enthusiasm and dedication of the Sisters of Charity and the lay staff has ensured the continuation of charism of Mary Aikenhead.