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Mater Dei Academy

A Classical Catholic Academy in Cork, Ireland




Ireland has undergone unprecedented constitutional and social change over the past decade, and this has sharply challenged the existing model of state-funded Catholic education. 

The shortage of authentic Catholic education and school-based faith formation has coincided with rapidly declining academic standards.  The existing model of Catholic education in Ireland, which relies on the government for financial support, limits the ability of existing Catholic schools to respond to this crisis.

Under the patronage of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, Mater Dei Academy is the new paradigm for independent, Catholic second-level education in Ireland. 

Mater Dei Academy is authentically and unapologetically Catholic, with an educational model that sees every learning opportunity as a vehicle leading its students to the ultimate Beauty and Truth, which is God. Mater Dei Academy excels in teaching and learning, and is inspired by the classical tradition, led by an active lay community of teachers and parents.


Students at Mater Dei Academy are taught by experienced, highly-qualified and motivated staff, providing teaching excellence in small classes to the highest international standards.  Mater Dei Academy is the beating heart for a new missionary pulse seeking to revitalize Irish and European society  with the values and traditions of our Catholic forefathers. values and traditions of our Catholic forefathers. 



Mater Dei Academy provides a comprehensive six-year program in the classical tradition, culminating in the Irish Leaving Certificate examination.

Their four year junior cycle provides a comprehensive and systematic introduction to liberal education in the classical tradition, built on the three pillars of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.

At Mater Dei Academy, classical learning is emphasized because they want their students to read, speak, and think well. Learning in this way enables their students to think critically and deeply about important questions, but it also instills that Truth and Beauty are good in and of themselves, and desirable for their own sake.

Mater Dei's experienced teachers introduce their students to the wisdom of two thousand years of Catholic thought, history, culture, and art, helping each student to understand for themselves and for our world in the light of Truth.


Education in this deep and comprehensive sense extends beyond the classroom and requires more than merely the acquisition of skills. Education at Mater Dei Academy is not merely training for work, but learning for life. For this reason, Mater Dei Academy looks to involve families ever more deeply in the life of the Academy and in the education of their children.


Student Body

Every aspect of life at Mater Dei Academy is permeated with Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Each school day begins and ends with students singing the Divine Office, one of the oldest forms of communal prayer in the Church. Their students live the sacraments of the Eucharist weekly, with  Reconciliation monthly in their school community. Students at Mater Dei Academy are invited to enter into a life in Christ, to recognize the great love with which Christ loves all, and to respond by finding their greatest joy in sharing that love with those closest to you.


Mater Dei Academy's small class sizes are ideal for students of all abilities. Their students benefit from the attention and care available to a small class size of less than fifteen students, enabling their experienced teachers to tailor the pace of learning to individual student needs. This means their brightest students remain challenged, while students with learning needs get the time and attention required.



Mater Dei Academy is delighted to welcome a limited number of international students to Cork, and carefully selects friendly local Catholic families that are happy to welcome your child into their homes.


Small group teaching sessions dedicated to English instruction are provided in preparation for the Cambridge First English examination.

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