St Michael's College, Dublin
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|St Michael's College
Coláiste Naomh Mhíchíl
Republic of Ireland
|Motto||Quis ut deus
(Latin for 'Who is like unto God')
|Principal||Lorna Heslin (Junior School)
Tim Kelleher (Senior School)
|Religious order||Holy Ghost Fathers|
St Michael's College was founded in 1944 by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (The Spiritans) as a second feeder school with Willow Park and initially was just a primary school to Blackrock College. The first eight pupils were transferred from Willow Park. The next September, 58 boys were enrolled. In 1952 the first secondary school pupils were admitted. Following expansion in the 1960s and 1970s, the school now has both a primary and secondary school. It has been extensively expanded, including the opening of a cafeteria, a sports pavilion, as well as new classrooms and a new chapel.
1950s and 1960s
In 1952–53 St Michael's had its first boys go into first year, which became the origin of the senior school, which contained just eight pupils that first year. By 1963, the school was growing. For the first time a second first year class was created. In 1967–68, the school started constructing a new wing, which included the assembly hall and swimming pool. From 1944–68, St Michael's had continued to be a junior school which had served as far as second year, but in 1968 it was decided that pupils would stay in St Michael's until after the Intermediate Certificate (4th Year). In 1970–71, Archbishop McQuaid blessed and opened the new Junior School and swimming pool. In December 1970, Fr Seamus Galvin was appointed the first President (1970–1976), and this was the first time St Michael's officially became an independent school and community from Blackrock College.
In 1972–73 the school started construction of the new library, classrooms and science rooms. In 1974–75 Archbishop Ryan opened the new buildings. In 1975, pupils from St Michael's sat the Leaving Certificate for the first time. The following year, Fr Cyril Sheedy became Superior of St Michael's, Fr Laurence McHugh was appointed Principal of the Junior School with Fr Flood appointed Principal of the Senior School.
In 1982 Fr Aidan Lehane was appointed Principal of the Senior School until 1991. Fr Galvin became the 1st President of the Past Pupils' Union in 1986. In 1991 while the Senior Cup Team were defeated in the final against Clongowes, the Junior Cup Team won the first title against Clongowes. The following year (1991–92), Fr Willie Bradley was appointed Principal of the Senior School. Ms Mairéad Burke was appointed Principal of the Junior School 1992–93. Fr Lehane was appointed manager of St Michael's later that same year. In 1993–94, St Michael's celebrated its Golden Jubilee.
Fr Michael Duggan was appointed Superior in 1995. In 1995–96 Mr Len Howard was appointed Principal of the Senior School, with Mr Noel Turley as Vice Principal and Fr Lehane appointed as manager of the school. In 1997–98, Fr Billy Cleary was appointed manager of the school. The start of the building of the new school began in 1998–99.
The following year Ms Lorna Heslin was appointed Deputy Principal of the Junior School. In 2000–01 the new school building was opened. Fr Pat Palmer dedicated the new college chapel, Cardinal Desmond Connell blessed the new building and President Mary McAleese visited the school. In 2001–02, Fr Bradley was appointed manager of the school. The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern visited the school. The Junior Cup team defeated Castleknock in the final for a second Junior Cup title. 2001–02. Mr Tim Kelleher was appointed Principal of the Senior School and Mrs Sheila Murray as Deputy Principal.
The following year, Boards of Managements were set up for both the Senior and Junior Schools. 2006–07 St Michael's won their first-ever Senior Cup and had a school record of 5 players playing for the Irish U-18s in the U-18s World Cup hosted in Belfast that summer.
The school has a strong rugby playing tradition, having won the Leinster Schools Junior Cup four times: in 1991, 2002, 2012 and 2017 in addition to reaching 6 JCT finals in a row up to 2012. In addition to the run of finals 2007-2012 the school has also finished runners up in the Leinster Schools Junior Cup in 1986, 2000 and 2016. The school has won the Leinster Schools Senior Cup twice – in 2007, where Conor Cleary was captain, and again in 2012 where current Leinster professional Dan Leavy, beating Clongowes Wood College in the Final.
In 2013, St Michael's reached the Senior Cup Final with captain Ross Molony but narrowly missed out on a second consecutive victory to Blackrock College. The school placed runner-up in 1988, 1991, 2006 & 2010. The school participates in an U13s (now U14s) Cup rugby competition organised and played by Holy Ghost Schools, and Templeogue, St Mary's, Willow Park (Blackrock) and Rockwell colleges.
In recent years St Michael's has invested heavily in on site sporting facilities and has now astro turf all weather training, astro turf all weather pitch and scrumaging areas, modern weights and a gym zone, in addition to a new sports pavilion housing modern changing facilities and showers etc. In addition St Michaels has a number of rugby pitches and training areas located on its D4 campus. It also has a large indoor basketball/football/training arena and a 18m indoor swimming pool. St Michael's senior school fields 18-21 rugby teams annually from u14s right through to u19s; its junior school houses a rugby nursery for boys aged from 4 – 12 years.
Simon Keogh (class of 1998), was a member of Senior Cup sides for three years up to 1998 when he also captained the first XV. He has played professional rugby for many seasons having played with Leinster (2000–03), Harlequins (UK; playing 133 times between 2003–09) and re-signing for Leinster in 2009 & 2010. He won a European Cup medal with Leinster in 2009 having won a European Shield medal with Quinns in 2004 where he scored the match winning try. Simon has also represented Ireland at schools, u21, sevens and A levels. In 2011 he was a member of the Old Belvedere RFC 1st XV who won the All Ireland League Division 1 title.
Aidan Kearney (class of 1998 and member of the 1st XV that year), played a number of seasons professionally with Leinster (2003–04) and then Ulster. He represented Ireland at u19s and u21 levels winning an u19 world cup medal in 1998 with fellow team members and current Irish internationals Brian O'Driscoll, Donnacha O Callaghan, and Paddy Wallace, among others. He has played AIL rugby with Dungannon and Suttonians, his home and local club. He is a strong supporter of underage rugby and currently coaches the Suttonians RFC u20 side.
St Michael's currently has 13 past-pupils playing professional rugby. Eleven are shared between the academy and senior side at Leinster Rugby, with one each at Connacht Rugby and FC Grenoble in the Top 14.
- Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup - 2007, 2012
- Leinster Schools Junior Cup - 1991, 2002, 2012, 2017
- Leinster Schools Rugby Senior League - 1998
The school provides teams for boys in First and Second year and have entered the Leinster GAA Schools competition since 2008. The junior school also enters cuman na mbunscoile GAA league and they one the shield in 2014.
The school has had a number of successful entries into the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Most recently in the 2012 exhibition, there were two entries. "Detecting Incidents on roads with Twitter and Traffic Cameras", by James Eggers and "Library Book locator" by James O'Connell, Cian Reid and Sean Nicholson. Eggers' project won the Senior Individual Technology Category as well as the EMC special award. The project by O'Connell, Reid and Nicholson won the ComReg (Communications Regulator of Ireland) award.
The school year is divided into three terms of which the first, the Michaelmas Term (September to December) is the longest. The Hilary Term is from January to March. The third is the Trinity Term, from April to June, and this is when external public examinations are taken. The Michaelmas Term has a substantial holiday at half-term, when the College closes down.
Notable past pupils
- Richard Boyd Barrett – Teachta Dála (TD) AAA-PBP
- Risteard Cooper – actor, comedian
- Keith Gleeson – former Irish rugby international and Leinster player
- Noel Reid - Leinster Rugby
- Simon Keogh – Leinster Rugby
- Allen Leech – actor
- Charles Lysaght – lawyer
- Eoghan Murphy – Fine Gael TD
- Ruairi Quinn – former Minister for Education and Skills
- Derek McGrath (rugby union) - former Irish rugby union international player
- Luke McGrath – Leinster rugby
- Niall McLaughlin – UK Young Architect of the Year (1998)
- David O'Doherty - comedian
- Killian Scott - actor
- Jason O'Mara - actor
- Peter McDonald - actor
- Dan Leavy (rugby union)
- Rory O'Loughlin (rugby union)
- Jack Kelly (rugby union)
- Nick McCarthy (rugby union)
- Ross Byrne (rugby union)
- Ross Molony (rugby union)
- James Ryan (rugby union)
- Dermot Morgan – The future "Father Ted" taught English in the college before becoming a full-time actor.
- Brian O'Meara - former Leinster and Ireland professional rugby player.
- Hand, Lise (18 April 2012). "Megaphone Barrett finally in with a shout". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2016.