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Saint Mary's National School, Dublin

Board of Management

Board of Management Members 2023-24


John Hennessy
Acting Principal Marita Keenan
Patron Nominee Aisling Dillon
Parent Nominee Úna Morrison
Parent Nominee Shane O'Mahony
Community Representative David Parkinson
Community Representative Madeline Sheridan
Teacher Nominee Aonghus Ó Briain

About the Board of Management

What is the Board of Management?

The Board of Management is the management team set up to manage the school on behalf of the Patron for the benefit of the children in the school and their parents. It is made up of representatives of the parents and teachers in the school, representatives of the patron and also community representatives who have a particular interest or expertise. The Board of Management is charged with the effective management of the school and its budget.

Once appointed, all eight members of the Board act together as a unit, a corporate body. Individuals do not act as representatives of various groups within the Board.

Who is the Board accountable to?

The Board manages the school on behalf of the patron and is accountable to the patron and to the Minister for Education and Skills. The patron of St. Mary’s National School is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The Board must uphold the ethos of the school and is accountable to the patron for so doing.

What does the Board do?

The functions of the Board of Management (the Board) are set out in section 15 of the Education Act, 1998 which provides that it shall be the duty of the Board to “manage the school on behalf of the patron and for the benefit of the students and their parents and to provide or cause to be provided an appropriate education for each student at the school for which that board has responsibility.”

Term of office

Boards of management of primary schools are appointed for a four-year term. The term of office for the current Board began on 1 December 2023 and will come to an end on 30 November 2027.

How does the Board work?

The rules governing the operation of boards of management are set out in the Governance Manual for Primary Schools 2019-2023, published by the Department of Education and Skills. Board members are provided with training on governance in accordance to this manual and must be familiar with its provisions.

What are the main responsibilities of the Board of Management?

The responsibilities of the Board include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring the well-being of pupils and the quality of pupil learning
  • Recruiting and managing staff
  • Developing, reviewing and publishing school policies
  • Managing resources
  • School Leadership
  • School Planning

Who are the members of the Board of our school and what are their roles?


The Chairperson is appointed by the patron. The Chairperson acts as correspondent for the Board with the Department of Education and Skills and all others. The Chairperson is responsible for ensuring that the school is managed well and that the aims and objectives of the school plan are achieved. The Chairperson leads the meetings of the Board and is entitled to vote on any issues arising before the Board and in the event of a tied vote, also has a second and casting vote.

The Chairperson of our Board is John Hennessy. This is John’s third term in office as Chairperson having replaced Fr. Martin Clarke in November 2012.


The Principal is automatically a member of the Board of Management. As is the case on most boards, the Principal acts as the Secretary of the Board.

The Secretary keeps accurate records of the meetings and makes them available when required by the Department of Education and Skills. The Secretary sets the agenda for meetings in conjunction with the Chairperson and records in the minutes decisions taken at meetings and numbers voting for or against motions.

Second nominee of the patron

Aisling Dillion was invited to join the board as the second nominee of the Patron. This follows her previous term on the Board as a Parent Nominee. Aisling replaces Monsignor Ciaran O’Carroll after three years’ service on the Board.

Community Representatives

David Parkinson previously acted as Treasurer to the Board, but is now involved in upgrading the IT systems and websites for the school. This is David’s third term on the Board of Management.

Madeline Sheridan is the current Treasurer to the Board. She reports at each meeting on the finances of the school and prepares an annual financial statement.

Parent Nominees

The parent nominees on the Board are Úna Morrison and Shane O'Mahony. They were elected by parents on the 19 October 2023 and began their term in December 2023.

Teacher Nominee

Aonghus Ó Briain was elected by the teachers as the teacher nominee of the Board.

How often does the Board meet?

It is at the discretion of the Chairperson of each Board to determine how many meetings shall be held each year, but each Board must meet a minimum of once per school term and not less than five times in any school year.

How to correspond with the Board

The appropriate way to correspond with the Board is to address your correspondence to the Secretary of the Board.