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News & Press Releases


The Class of '71

St Mary's and St Joseph's Colleges of Education (Now St Mary's University College)


Final year students, Shannen Browne, Moya Bradley and Megan McKenna were on placement with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and are shown with Ms Carmel Fyfe, Eco-Schools Manager (2nd from right)



A large gathering of past students, in the company of former College lecturers, came together for Mass on Friday March 27th to celebrate 40 years of school teaching and to give thanks for their time living and studying in west Belfast.  During his Homily, Rev Dr Niall Coll spoke about the rationale for Catholic Education and the continuing imperative of educating teachers within this tradition on this historic site at 191 Falls Road.

During the Prayers of the Faithful deceased classmates were remembered by their friends and colleagues.

Many of those in attendance travelled long distances to join the gathering, including one former student now living in Germany.  The gathering endorsed the campaign for government to respect the educational vision and mission of St Mary’s and signed a letter to Dr Farry exhorting his Department to facilitate the growth and development of St Mary’s.  The former students are seeking guarantees from the Minister around the continuance of the tradition of Catholic teacher education, more than a century old, in west Belfast.

Among those present were lecturers from that era, Jim Mc Keever, Jim Brankin and Des O’ Reilly.

Joan Campbell (Chair of the St Mary’s University College Alumni Association) welcomed the Class of ‘71 to the College and everyone in attendance enjoyed the occasion.


The Class of '71 Then & Now