It all started with a small but mighty team of parents who had a passion for the Educate Together learning environment and who wanted to give parents of children in the Dublin 4 and Dublin 2 areas another educational option. This group, together with the Educate Together head office, successfully petitioned for the new primary school in the area to be opened under the patronage of Educate Together. Shellybanks takes its name from beach area in Sandymount at Strand Road by Sean Moore Park. There is significant history and heritage around Shellybanks to the people who grew up in Sandymount, Irishtown and Ringsend — the area was the backdrop for a scene in famed author, James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses and was a cherished site of this famous past resident and his wife, Nora, who were known to have spent much of their courtship in the area.
Here are just a few of the major milestones in making Shellybanks Educate Together a reality:
- June 2011 – the Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, announced the establishment of forty new schools up to 2017 to cater for demographic increases within the school going cohort across the country and that Sandymount / Ringsend is one of the areas under consideration.
- September / October 2011 – The Dublin 4 Educate Together campaign is initiated by a small group of parent volunteers in the Sandymount / Ringsend area on the back of the Department of Education and Skills’ announcement that they have identified a potential need for a school in the area.
- March 2012 – First full committee meeting and website, Facebook and Twitter go live.
- May 2012 – Public Meeting is held at the Railway Union Rugby Club and the pre-enrolment / registration of interest process is started. The event is attended by over 150 parents as well as numerous local TDs and the event receives press coverage in the Irish Independent.
- October 2012 – Committee members meet in Dáil Éireann with Minister of Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn and Kevin Humphreys, TD, to discuss the opportunities for an Educate Together school in the Sandymount / Ringsend area.
- December 2012 – Festive Family Fundraiser is held at the Monkstown Rugby Club/ Pembroke Cricket Club in Sandymount continuing ongoing fundraising and awareness-raising efforts by our group.
- March 2013 – Educate Together celebrate “One Day Together” nationally. Our local campaign joins the fun with a coffee morning fundraiser.
- April 2013 – Play It Forward Fundraiser is held at the Monkstown Rugby Club/ Pembroke Cricket Club in Sandymount. The event is supported with a flyer distribution to over 15,000 households in the Sandymount, Ballsbridge, Ringsend, Irishtown, Mount Merrion and Donnybrook areas. Just a week after this event was held, our campaign receives confirmation from the Department of Education and Skills that a new school is due to be established in the Sandymount & Ringsend area in September 2014 with either 1 or 2 Junior Infant classes depending on parental demand and that patronage applications are due 14th June 2013.
- May & June 2013 – The Dublin 4 Educate Together campaign continues our grassroots efforts to spread awareness with flyer distribution by parent volunteers at a number of local events and information stands every weekend at key shopping areas and markets around Dublin 4 and Dublin 2.
- 14th June, 2013 – Application for patronage is submitted with nearly 600 children on the pre-enrolment list for classes from 2014 and beyond, over 900 names on our mailing list.
- 26th September, 2013 – Application for patronage is approved!
- Nov/Dec 2013 – Offer Letters for the 2014 Junior Infants Class sent and places confirmed!
- March 2014 – Location announced for 2014 school year at The Sandymount Building, Simmonscourt in Ballsbridge which will be the temporary home for the school’s first few years until permanent accommodation is secured by the Dept of Education
- September 2014 – Shellybanks Educate Together opens its doors for the first time to two Junior Infants classes. Representative of a rise in Educate Together primary schools opening around the country, this momentous day is covered by RTE News as a significant milestone in the Irish education system.
- February 2015 – Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, visits Shellybanks!
- September 2019 – Shellybanks is now 5 years old!