Special Schools

The Dominican Sisters responded to specific community needs in their approach to education by establishing a number of special schools to cater for children with impaired hearing and behavioural problems.

Based on a Catholic philosophy and the Dominican ethos, these schools strive to nurture the dignity and uniqueness of each child, to include the child’s family and to avail of the supports which can be accessed.


Founded in 1963, Benincasa is under the patronage of the Archbishop of the Diocese of Dublin and the trusteeship of Le Chéile.The school offers a specialised education to children from 4 – 16, with severe emotionaland behavioural difficulties are unable to benefit from mainstream education.

Currently there are 43 pupil places for the greater Dublin area and parts of surroundingcounties. A large staff includes teachers, special needs assistants and child care staff.

Further information can be viewed on the Benincasa website.

Casa Caterina

Casa Caterina was founded in 1973 for children from 4 - 12 with severe emotionaland behavioural difficulties, some with learning difficulties. The school based inCabra, is is under the patronage of the Archbishop of the Diocese of Dublin and thetrusteeship of Le Chéile and has 31 places for pupils mainly from the north Dublin city and county.

Casa Caterina has a dedicated staff, made up of teachers and Special Needs  Assistants. The school provides a secure environment to nurture children so that they can integrate into society and participate in mainstream education. A range  of therapeutic activities are provided to pupils which includes PE, football, art and music.

Further information can be viewed on the Casa Caterina website.

Holy Family Deaf School

The Dominican Sisters established St Mary’s School for Deaf Girls in Cabra in 1846. St Mary’s caters for severe and profoundly deaf girls, enabling each to reach her full potential.

Today, St Mary’s remains on the Dominican campus in Cabra but is under the trusteeship of the Catholic Institute for the Deaf since 1996. It has a rich history which includes a visit from Pope John Paul II in 1979. In 2011, a St Mary’s student, Leah Ennis McLoughlin rang the Peace Bell at Aras an Uachtaran during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 2016, St Mary’s School for Deaf Girls and St Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys merged: Holy Family School for the Deaf is the new school.
Further information: www.holyfamilydeafschool.ie