“As another academic year draws to a close, it is time to reflect upon the rich tapestry of life that is present in our school, each and every day. I am always amazed by the display of talent, its depth and range, and thank the parents and guardians who allow us to develop this rich pool of gifts.”

Sr Denise O’Brien, (Principal 1992 – 2010) at the Bower annual prize-giving ceremony, her last, as she looked forward to her retirement. Under her stewardship, Our Lady’s Bower has seen many changes, not least being the new building project which makes the school the most modern and best equipped educational facility in the midlands. But as Sr. Denise is always quick to point out, it is the girls themselves who make the Bower what it is today.

To be a Bower girl means being able to achieve one’s best in whatever direction one’s talents lie.

The school nurtures the sporting skills of its girls or their social consciences, as much as it does the talents of the high academic achievers.

Many musical or artistic pupils have developed their potential in Our Lady’s Bower.

The Arts Week , held once in every student’s career, aims at giving each girl an opportunity to enjoy plays, music, song, film, dance and sculpture. Normally timetables are suspended to give the students a chance to experience the world of Arts in full.

Our school has a long established exchange programme with the College Privé Sainte Clotilde , our sister Sainte Union School in Douai, in the north of France. On alternate years, second year students have the opportunity to spend a week with a French family, attend school and enjoy educational trips to the neighbouring towns and to Paris.

We also have established contact with the teacher training college in Karlsruhe Germany and we benefit from having a native German speaker on staff for the school year.

Our Lady’s Bower reflects the New Ireland of the 21st century; we are a multicultural, multiracial school. Students from all over the world enjoy the benefits of our school.

Students are given the opportunity to:

  • take part in a debate and public speaking
  • complete a Gaisce challenge
  • design a Junk Kouture outfit
  • write and broadcast a film or a radio play as Gaeilge
  • participate in a school musical
  • play in the school orchestra
  • play a wide variety of sports
  • compete in maths, science and business competitions
  • do community work in Athlone
  • listen to visiting speakers
  • represent their school in various fields
  • partake in workshops on careers or the Arts

All of this means that every girl can fulfil her potential and that her time in the Bower will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Olwyn Sheridan recalls becoming a Bower girl.

When, at the age of seven, my family and I moved from Cork, it had been planned that I would attend Our Lady’s Bower. I guess it was only right as my mum, four of her sisters and my cousin all attended.

I was all set for years and couldn’t wait for the last year in primary school to end. Although I loved it very much I was ready for something bigger and better – THE BOWER!

The first day had come, there was no going back. Mixed emotions were going through my head. Would I be in the same class as my friends? Or would I find the tests difficult?

The car slowly turned around the last bend and came to a stop. I had waited so long for this moment, at last it was here. I slowly opened the door and hesitantly placed one foot on the ground followed by the other, closing the door behind me, I lifted my head and saw the school and looking down at my uniform, it hit me. I was now a BOWER GIRL!