History of the Past Pupils’ Union


Muckross Park Dominican Past Pupils’ Union was formed in 1912, just 12 years after the Dominican College in Marlborough Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 was founded, making it one of the oldest Catholic girls’ past pupils’ union in Ireland. It seems there was a Past Pupils’ Union almost as soon as there was a past pupil!  The following is an extract from the convent Annals:

“On 18th March 1912 Three of our Past Pupils the Misses Florrie and Eily McGloughlin and Miss Ivy Powell approached Mother Prioress (Martina) and asked for her permission to form a Union for our Past Pupils. The permission was willingly given and invitations were sent out to all and sundry Past Pupils. The result was good; a large gathering of P.P. Muckross met in the “Hall” (the present library 1956). This was the first Union for Dominican Secondary girls’ schools in or about Dublin.”

If anyone knows of an older girls past pupils’ union please let us know.

The aim of the Union has been to encourage and help past pupils to remain in contact with the school and with each other. Over the years we have done this through events such as the annual lunch, the golf society, the PPU newsletter Muckross Mail, trips abroad, writers’ workshops, quizzes etc. and more recently through social media.

Our other major activity is fund raising by way of our Annual Raffle for the Union’s Benevolent Fund. These funds are used to help (on a totally confidential basis) past pupils who might be experiencing difficulties due to financial or health problems.  We have also helped support the Dominican Playgroup Projects which are run by Dominican nuns in Cape Town, South Africa. The PPU’s connection the Playschools started in 2005 and continued until the end of 2016 when they became self-sufficient with government funding. The Playgroups help care for children who are deprived of food and healthy development. So by becoming a member of the PPU, attending any of our functions, or supporting our Annual Raffle you will be helping these and our other charitable causes too.

In 2012 we celebrated our centenary with an Open Day in the school. This included a Showcase where past pupils booked stands to exhibit their businesses and services. This proved to be a great networking opportunity.

Muckross has always been more than just a school. There is a Muckross ‘spirit’ which is very evident whenever past pupils meet. This spirit we feel sure will continue to grow within the new school building, which opened in 2006, and is also present at all of our PPU events. The school’s past pupils form a large cross section of Irish women who have fulfilled many varied roles throughout the years - Medicine, Law, Film Producers, Authors, Artists, Ambassadors, Broadcasters and Politics to name a few.

You are a past pupil as soon as you leave the school and the PPU offers great potential for networking across all of these industries. If you are not yet a member, please join us and be part of our Muckross Park College Past Pupils’ Union today.

The Committee

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Anna Whitaker

Class of 2013

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Helena O’Dowd

Class of 1988


Claire Johns

Class of 1974


Jane YOung

Class of 1993

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Denise Lynch

Class of 1994

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Lynda Thompson

Class of 1979

Elaine Tracey

Class of 1997

Nicola McGlade

Class of 1994

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Gay Rodgers

Class of 1966

Sarah Twomey

Class of 2013


Past Presidents


Our records of the past Presidents of the PPU are not complete. We do know that the first President of the newly formed PPU, in 1912 was Agnes Ryan.

Maybe you can help to fill in the gaps?

  • Agnes Ryan - 1912 - Founding President

  • Mrs Brayden - 1915

  • Eily McGlouglin - 1935

  • Miss P Randal - 1930s

  • Una Fitzsimons - 1940s

  • Peggie Hussey and Peggy Nelson - 1950s

  • Eileen Monaghan (nee McNamara), Eithne Bolger (nee O’Donnell) and Barbara Lightfoot - 1960s

  • Carmel Walsh (nee Cole), Marie Foley, Deirdre McCann (nee Sherry) - 1970s

  • Anne Brady, Therese Birthistle (nee Hackett) and Lorie O’Connell (nee Sutton) - 1980s

  • Eithne Bolger - 1995

  • Edie Goff (nee Ronaldson) - 1997

  • Katherine Duffy (nee Fox) - 1999

  • Gay Rodgers - 1990s, 2000, 2001

  • Valerie Clancy (nee Barry) - 2000s

  • Valerie Cox (nee FitzPatrick) - 2007

  • Beatrice Doran - 2013, 2006, 2005

  • Niamh Gourlay - 2014

  • Elizabeth Smyth - 2017

  • Helena O’Dowd - 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015