Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year 2023

St. Mary's Grammar School

St. Mary's students make the grade

A Level students in St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt had reason to celebrate after the publication of this year’s examination results. 

Following his recent appointment, the new Principal of St. Mary’s, Mr Paul McClean, reported that 98% of students were awarded 3 or more A* - C grades while 99.3% of all entries resulted in A* - C grades. 

Recognising the success of students, Mr McClean said: “The results achieved by St. Mary’s students this year are truly outstanding.  The school has a long established reputation as a centre of academic excellence and this year’s results certainly reflect the continued high achievement of its students.  I offer my warmest congratulations to each young person and wish them every success in the future.  I understand that such impressive results would not be possible without the expertise and influence of committed members of staff working in many roles within the school.  I, therefore, wish to acknowledge the sterling contribution of teaching and teaching support staff to the success students have enjoyed this year.  Our governing body provide their expertise and support routinely and, on behalf of our staff and pupils, I wish to thank them for their contributions to the progress and development of success at St.Mary’s Grammar School.  It is, of course, important also to remember that these staggering results have been achieved despite the continued challenges schools and young people faced last year due to the pandemic and the fact that these young people did not have the experience of public examinations in recent years.  I am pleased to report that the decline in pupil outcomes across the country in A Level examinations this year is not reflected in the results attained by St. Mary’s students.  Indeed, three quarters of all A Level grades were A*/A and over 90% of them were A*- B, a truly stunning performance.  I wish to pay tribute to Mr Frank Dunlop for the leadership he provided for the school in his role as Acting Principal which has undoubtedly yielded this year’s impressive outcomes and I wish him a happy and healthy retirement.” 

Mr Dunlop, who is retiring from the school after 36 years of service, also praised students.  Reflecting on their success, he commented: “I am so pleased by the success of our young people and I congratulate them on their achievement.  These incredible results reflect and reward the consistent endeavour of students and the commitment of highly skilled and dedicated teachers who have guided students along the path to success.  The support and encouragement of parents and guardians have also been integral to the exceptional performance of students in examinations and I wish to thank parents and guardians for working in partnership with the school to ensure that students fulfilled their potential.   As they embark on the next stage of their education and career pathway, I offer these very talented young people my best wishes going forward.  St. Mary’s is a thriving school and I know that it will go from strength to strength in the future.  As Mr McClean takes up the position of Principal, I wish him every success in the role and I hope that he will be as happy during his time in St. Mary’s as I have been.”  


Eimear Harkin (4A*), Shea Heaney (4A*), Annie Kilpatrick (4A*), Ellie Conway (2A*), Pablo Mateo-Loughlin (2A*) Rosie Cassidy (2A*), Emma Meeke


Grace Brewster  (3A*), Aimee Catherwood (3A*), Nayana Chauhan (3A*), Therese Diamond (3A*), James Kealey (3A*), Ellie Jane Mawhinney (3A*), Aoife McAtamney (3A*), Siobhan McCoy (3A*), Sophie O’Neill (3A*), Aine Young (3A*), Callum Campbell (2A*),  Kara Clerkin (2A*), Holly Dougan (2A*),

Grace Gavigan (2A*), Cian Graffin (2A*), Erin Henry (2A*), Conall Heron (2A*), Emma McAuley (2A*), Reanna McEldowney (2A*), Olivia McFarlane (2A*), Lucy McGorrey (2A*), Sinead McKeever (2A*), Oran O’Kane (2A*), Daniel Quinn(2A*), Eimear Quinn (2A*), Neil Quinn (2A*), Roma Boyle (1A*) Lorcan Bradley (1A*), Margarida Cardoso Paciencia (1A*), Cara Convery (1A*), Rigan Convery (1A*), Hannah Coyle (1A*), Ella Donnelly (1A*), Jake Donnelly (1A*), Andrea Falls (1A*), Mya Graffin (1A*), Eilis Keenan (1A*), Ciara Kelly (1A*), Eva Madden (1A*), Simon  Matterson (1A*),  Niamh McAllister (1A*), Sean McAuley (1A*), Jarlath McBrien (1A*), Kate McDermott (1A*), Oliver McDonnell (1A*), Ryan McEldowney (1A*), Eoin McEvoy (1A*), Oisin McGurk (1A*), Iarfhlaith McKeating (1A*), Mary McKee (1A*),  Tiarnan McOscar (1A*), Erin O’Kane (1A*), Rachel Quinn (1A*), Niall Rafferty (1A*), Ciara Scullin (1A*) Ronan Walls (1A*), Aodhan Young (1A*),  Aidan Devlin, Carla Doherty, David Donnelly, Ciara Forsythe, Sean Grant, Brooke Kennedy, Ellie McErlean, Cieveen McManus, Erin O’Connor, Matthew O’Neill, Sophie Shields, Eoin Walsh, Darragh Young.


Fionntan McPeake (2A*), Niamh Boyle (1A*), James Cuskeran (1A*), Eoin Doyle (1A*), Amy Graffin (1A*), Sarah McGarvey (1A*), Eimear McGuigan (1A*), Ciara O’Donnell (1A*), Alanna Beattie, Adam Beck, Aisling Campbell, Colleen Crawford, Orlagh Devlin, Aoife Donaghy, Sophie Donnelly, Alexa Hastings, Camille Hirst, Weronika Majder, Joel Martin, Anna McAuley, Clare McCaffrey, Declan McFerran, Aoife McKenna, Brian McKenna, Diarmuid McPeake, Eimear Monaghan, Diarmuid Mulholland, Cara Murray, Ryan Quinn.