Kitchen Renovation

Over the summer, our dedicated staff worked very hard (many a late evening!) to remodel our kitchen and stock it with new equipment so we could offer more varied classes. It was done with help through funding from Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Reach, Limerick Regeneration, SIF and further support from DSP.

Here, we offer cooking and baking classes, including:

• Air-frying: a course that teaches you how to make eco-friendly, cost-effective, and tasty meals.

• One Pot Cooking: a great course for healthy family meals.

• Introduction to Baking: for yummy treats made with our new baking equipment.

We will soon be offering Healthy Food Made Easy, which helps with nutrition, budgeting meals as well as taste.

And there will be more classes after Christmas.

We aim to help by catering to everyone and provide courses that are practical and educational. Help with food waste and climate change.

The kitchen is the heart of our home here and a safe, comfortable space where learners can take a break and relax!

Work in progress:

And after:

Sorcha Wharton



Summer is here and what that means for us is less people in the building as classes are on a break till September. However, that doesn’t mean it is deathly quiet around the halls of the education centre. This summer, we have set up clubs for learners who want to keep their skills updated and meet up with old and new friends here at the centre. It is also good for us to see familiar faces to chat to also. It gives us a chance to show off our new teaching community kitchen which was recently installed and freshly tiled. The staff here in the centre contributed immensely to the project and our kitchen is now something we can truly be proud of. Roll on September with our cookery and baking courses which we hope will entice you all in to learn something new and maybe develop some skills you already have to bring to the next level. And truth be told the staff love to sample any of the culinary creations that come their way when the cooking classes resume.

Ageing plus continues to thrive with our team supporting those most in need with some minor home repairs and essential garden maintenance. Thanks to all involved!! Also, the friendly call service continues to compliment Ageing plus and generate the jobs we want to do for those most in need.

Our partnership with Adapt women’s services continues to grow also and should you know of anyone who needs to avail of those services, we encourage you to contact us so that we may refer you to them and provide you with more information.

Our two adult Education workers are busy preparing the timetable in advance of our registration day on September 5th here in the centre, so that we may delver the classes people want, but also what our community needs. Included in this will be accredited course to ensure job readiness, mental health courses to support those that need a little help in maintain positivity and focus, community education classes to solidify friendships and create new skills to impress family and friends, and now we are adding all types of cookery with the advantage of our teaching kitchen.

The outlook is bright and positive, and rest assured, we are aiming to bring you all the best services possible and help build capacity in our community that ensures growth and personal development for all.

On a slightly sadder note, I would like to thank our Kevin Moloney for his service to the project as he is soon to retire. If he doesn’t retire to the French riviera, maybe we can get him up here for the odd bit of volunteering.

John O’Sullivan


Coffee Morning with ADAPT Domestic Abuse Service

Chelsea O’Connor  


Today, St. Marys Adult Education had a tea and coffee morning with ADAPT to raise awareness on domestic violence on woman and children. The main purpose of this talk was to help give an insight into the signs of domestic violence in a household and to show the range of services ADAPT has to offer to individuals who may be experiencing domestic violence at home.


ADAPT operates the country’s largest refuge which offers emergency housing for women and children who are exposed to domestic abuse. It also offers a multitude of outreach facilities to women who are not in a position to stay in the residential area such as a 24-hour helpline, 1-2-1 support for issues caused by domestic violence for example financial support. ADAPT also have a support group for woman to attend which helps woman understand the meaning of domestic violence and helps woman meet others who are in the same situation as them.


ADAPT have a range of services to help children who are exposed to domestic violence and help the children gain knowledge on healthy relationships, equal opportunity, and respectability. An educational service is also included in ADAPT to help individual’s experiencing domestic violence have a stepping stone back into an education and a career.

If you are experiencing or know anyone experiencing domestic violence in a household, please do not hesitate to contact ADAPT at.  


ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services,

ADAPT House,




Tel: (061) 412354

Fax: (061) 419809

Email: info@adaptservices.ie

My experience with community work at St. Mary's Adult Education Centre.

I am currently a second-year student in TUS (LIT) studying community and addiction studies. I decided to enroll in this course after completing my level five in social studies in LCFE in 2020, as the modules and description of the course intrigued me, and I wanted to gain insight and knowledge on what addiction is and the detrimental effects it can have on a person’s life. I always wanted to work in the community sector and follow the footsteps of my own mother who has worked in a multitude of community services such as pieta house and adapt. Since starting this course in 2021, I feel I have developed as an individual through gaining knowledge on how to better the quality of life for an individual or community as well as the various aspects that may cause negative effects in a community such as addiction and/or deprivation.

Deprivation is the lack of basic needs for an individual to have. Poverty, insufficient housing, low education, and a lack of work or social prospects are all examples of deprivation. Although deprivation is reduced in certain locations, such as inner cities, it can also be found in smaller towns and rural areas. Although substance use can be found almost anywhere, in deprived areas such as St. Mary’s Park it is more noticeable due to the lack of housing, education and poverty. John Gilligan stated in the Irish examiner “Nobody, and I mean nobody — Shannon Development or the IDA — ever lifted their finger to try and replace industries in the inner city for places like St Mary’s Park. They did absolutely nothing for them. The people of St Mary’s Park were simply left abandoned,”. He also states that no new houses have been built in over ten years and that the town has become abandoned. The lack of jobs in St. Mary's  Park has led to seventy percent of males and forty percent of females to be out of work in 2014. Only two percent of St. Mary’s community have got an education as far as third level.

I am currently covering my placement in St. Mary's  Adult Education, and I am currently on week five of my placement. St. Mary’s adult education is a great service that helps the individuals in St. Mary’s Park to grow a sense of purpose in their community by offering them a multitude of level three and four courses as well as just weekly classes such as digital media, gardening, sewing, art class, managing stress and anxiety, child development through play and lots more. St Mary’s adult education use classes such as gardening to help put back into their community by offering families in the community help with their maintenance in their gardens for free with their ageing plus service. They also have a friendly calls service which is used to provide a friendly chat for older or vulnerable people. Courses such as child development through play and coping with stress and anxiety helps benefit the individuals in the community to gain the awareness, skills, and capability to use play as part of their child’s developmental stage and help the individual gain the confidence to communicate with their child and themselves in a calm, collective way.

Chelsea O’Connor


Certification Day

We celebrated a wonderful day for us and our learners here at St Mary`s with our (mostly) annual certification day. Joined by friends and family, our learners received their awards from local TD Maurice Quinlivan in the Halla of St Mary`s National School (thank you to Principal Eoghan for the use of it). A certain amount of pride was had in watching our learners receive the credit they so richly deserve.


A huge thanks also to the staff here at St Mary`s for their tireless contribution in keeping our centre looking so well and ensuring the day went well. Thanks also to the wonderful tutors who deliver the courses so brilliantly and inspire all of our learners to want to learn more year after year. Thank you to the LCETB for providing those tutors and supporting our centre as well as they do.


A massive shout-out to the board of volunteers for giving their time to ensure we always deliver on our mission, our goals and in the spirit of our community. Linda Ledger and St Munchin’s community centre for the lovely food on the day. The Limerick City and County Council for funding some of our fabulous initiatives and the DEASP for funding our Community Employment Scheme who run the centre and support other local agencies with their wonderful contributions.


Last but not least, thank you to the learners who grace our centre and make what we do so meaningful in so many ways.


Our new services

St Mary’s Community Adult Education Group

Here at the centre we are delighted to announce that we are launching two new services for the community.

The two services we are adding are a community care service called Ageing Plus and a Friendly Call service. We hope to work with the local community to make sure that those in need can get the right help for them.

St Mary’s Adult Education Ageing Plus

This will be a service in which we will have dedicated staff to help vulnerable people with some tasks they may be unable to do themselves. Our workers will handle small household tasks, from hanging curtains to gardening and small painting jobs


There is no fee for this service.


 We aim to serve our local community with this service, and we also hope it will allow people who may be at risk of isolation to have an opportunity to connect with others. Even small or brief social interactions are very beneficial, and you can use this service along with our Friendly Calls service too!

These jobs may seem like mundane chores to some, and it is easy to take them for granted, but not all are so fortunate, and we hope to connect with the people who require it the most.

Friendly Call Service

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons, our volunteers, John Murphy and Elise Bennis will speak by phone to people in the community who are feeling isolated or just want to talk to someone. This will be an opportunity for people to socialise who may not have the opportunity otherwise. Our volunteers will also help callers by providing information and can refer to other support services.


Similar to our Ageing Plus program, we believe strongly that this is an ideal way to serve the community. Through engaging with members who can be neglected or overlooked this can go a long way to countering the harmful and negative effects that loneliness can have on people.


Studies have claimed that those over age 75 and living by themselves have the greatest prevalence of feeling alone. There is also a significant number of people over 50 who express these feelings. Good news can also be taken from this research as it was also suggested that similar programs have been hugely successful and support vulnerable people.

We hope to speak to anyone who needs either service, and you can call us on 061-31399 or email stmarysaded@gmail.com to put your name down now!

Arran Hamilton 06.07.2022

Another end of term at St. Mary`s Centre.  JUNE 2022


Another end of term at St. Mary`s. This one feels rather special as it is the first term in three years accomplished  in a meaningful way without Covid restricting us too much.
While hard work from the staff underpins what we do, we have an element of luck in that the wonderful tutors we have to deliver the classes have been of the best quality and seamlessly contribute to the positive atmosphere here at the education centre.

The learners make what we do worthwhile, and their enthusiasm and quality of work are the ultimate rewards in Community Education. This year brought us a blend of return offenders and new people that I’m sure will attend for years to come at our centre. People you initially meet for the first time soon become friends to St. Mary`s . Surely that’s what community building is for. To encourage connectivity and inclusion, build relationships and increase capacity in our community.

We have had some long-term staff retire from our Community Employment scheme, and they will be sorely missed. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that their replacements are more than up to match the quality of work their predecessors delivered.


Our board has also stepped up a level, which was shown by them rolling their sleeves up and meeting the community head, on the day of our 20th anniversary. Helped in no small way by the glorious weather provided for us. I am very much looking forward to the future with this board at the helm, and the good things we can accomplish for our community.
This can also be seen in our vulnerable person support program, which we have now named St Mary’s Adult Education Ageing +. We have designated workers to call to older and vulnerable people’s homes, to tend to their gardens, and hopefully make their day a bit brighter. We have also launched a friendly call service for those most socially isolated to have a chat.

For us, the summer is not a complete break as we focus on building towards next term, and hopefully we will have an additional classroom at our disposal to deliver the highest quality of adult education for our community. The future is bright as long as we continue working together.

John O'Sullivan

20 Year Celebration of St Mary’s Adult Education Centre

What a celebration we had on Friday the 27th of May and there was such a great turnout we had with glorious sunshine, great food and great music from The St Mary’s Primary School Orchestra and also face painting and balloons from Giggles The Clown.

The Centre has been working for the community and adult education over the last 20 years. We had many Board Members, Workers, Tutors and Students pass through our doors over time leaving their indelible mark on the success of the Centre.  We would like to thank them for paving the way. Also, a big shout out to our Current Board and Manager John O’Sullivan for all the fantastic work they do.

We would like to thank all who graced our celebration with their presence, and we hope you all had an enjoyable time and experience.  It was great to see The Mayor, Local Councillors and TDs turning up to support the Centre.

So, here’s to another 20 years of success to St Mary’s Adult Education Centre and continued support of Adult Education in The Community and a big thank you to all The Employees of the Centre who did great work on getting the place ready and welcoming for all.

We hope to welcome you all back after the summer to sign up for classes and see us again.

St Mary`s Adult Education Centre


St. Mary’s is a vibrant area based on the north side of Limerick City. It is one of the oldest parts of the city with both King Johns Castle and St. Mary’s Cathedral in the Area.

St. Mary’s Adult Education Centre’s primary focus is on providing education on a non-discriminatory basis to any member of the local population. The centre is also involved in recreational activities for the local population and staff members. Working in partnership with the Local Employment Service assistance is given with job seeking and C.V. preparation. The centre works with Limerick City Council, Limerick Regeneration and Limerick Island Community Partners on a litter picking project for the Greater King’s Island. They also work on advancing enterprise in the area, with a focus on job creation.



John O`Sullivan 
Phone – 061 313993
Email – stmarysed@gmail.com

St Mary’s Adult Education Group is the main provider of adult education within St Mary’s wider parish. We are based in the Old Infant Boys School on the Island Road. We provide training at all levels including community education, ICT and QQI. We are a QQI Quality Assured Group.

We are CE sponsors to a CE Scheme which has participants based across the St Mary’s area engaged in work such as Environmental, Community Café, Athlunkard Boat Club, King’s Island Youth and Community Centre as well as the Adult Education Centre.

Our group aim is to provide the following support & educational programmes which are of benefit to the greater “Kings Island Area” of Limerick.

© Copyright 2023 stmarysadulteducation.ie