A Dublin primary school is set to become the first Catholic school to change to Educate Together, a patron body for multi-denominational schools in Ireland. 

St. Mary's Primary School in Phibsborough, north Dublin, will transfer to Educate Together patronage as part of the Irish Government's plan to support the transfer of schools from religious to multi-denominational patronage where demand exists for such a change. 

The school was one of several schools in the Dublin Archdiocese that took part in a consultation process in the 2022/23 academic year as part of the Government's "reconfiguration" pilot program. 

This program involved consultation with the St. Mary's school community carried out by a facilitator appointed by the Department of Education, who was supported by the Education Secretariat of the Archdiocese. 

The school community expressed a desire to become a multi-denominational school during the consultation process and later expressed a preference to become an Educate Together school. 

Emer Nowlan, CEO of Educate Together, said they were delighted to welcome a "vibrant inner-city school community" to their network. 

"We are very conscious of St Mary’s long history as a successful Catholic school, which has always adapted to the changing needs of its local community, and we appreciate the support of the current patron and the local parish for this process," Nowlan said in a statement.

"We look forward to working with parents, staff and pupils, and the local community, to support a smooth transition." 

Éadaoin Kelly, St. Mary's principal, said in a statement that the school is embracing the rich diversity of its community by becoming an Educate Together school. 

"The children are at the center of all our work and we are responsive to their needs," Kelly said.

"Through the reconfiguration process, our school community recognized that equality-based patronage is the best fit for the diverse families we serve.

"We will continue our inclusive, restorative and supportive practice as an Educate Together school and look forward to sharing and learning with and from other schools in the network." 

Meanwhile, Yasmine Othman, a parent with children in third and fifth class at the school, described the move as a "really positive step in the future of Irish education". 

"It should have an exceptional step-by-step influence as we move forward and develop our young people into every aspect of life in a modern Ireland. We look forward to being part of Educate Together and this exciting new adventure," Othman said. 

At present, 90% of the 3,600 primary schools in Ireland have Catholic patronage, while just 5% are multi-denominational.