The school that now stands on St Peter’s Road, adjacent to the famous Dalymount Park, did not begin on that road. At first situated in the crypt of the old church, it was Phibsborough’s first Catholic school and was set up to counter the influence of the four Protestant schools that existed in the area as well as to educate the poor children of the district. Founded by a group of concerned locals, its work in giving many of the city’s disadvantaged children a good start in life continues today.
The original establishment in the crypt of the church predated the Vincentians when a committee made up of a group of locals founded it in 1822. In October that year work began on the site at the junction of the North Circular Road and New Cabra Avenue and in September 1826, the school opened for Catechism classes on Sundays. It expanded the following February when a schoolmaster was taken on and a day school was set up for poor boys and girls. Such was the demand in the area that within a few months there were 230 boys and 160 girls on the rolls.