St Michael's College, Dublin
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|St Michael's College|
Coláiste Naomh Mhíchíl
|Motto||Quis ut deus|
(Latin for 'Who is like unto God')
|Religious order||Holy Ghost Fathers|
St Michael's College (Irish: Coláiste Naomh Mícheál) is a voluntary Catholic boys' school located on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4, Ireland. It was founded in 1944 by the Holy Ghost Fathers. Founded in 1944 by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (The Spiritans) as a second feeder school along with Willow Park, it was 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 gym.
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.
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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 was ranked ninth in Ireland in terms of the number of students who progressed to third level and by the types of institutions to which the students progressed.
Sports played include rugby, basketball and Gaelic sports.
The school has a strong rugby playing tradition, having won the Leinster Schools Junior Cup five times: in 1991, 2002, 2012, 2017 and 2019 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 three time 2007, where Conor Cleary was captain, and again in 2012 where current Leinster professional Dan Leavy, beating Clongowes Wood College in the final. In 2019 the school won the cup for the third time beating Gonzaga College.
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 2016 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. In addition St Michael's has a number of rugby pitches and training areas located on its Dublin 4 campus. It also has a large indoor basketball/football/training arena and an 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 under 19 Rugby World Cup medal in 1998.
As of 2020, St Michael's has more than 20 many past-pupils playing professional rugby, across Ireland, the UK, France and the USA. See Notable Past Pupils, below.
- Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup - 2007, 2012, 2019
- Leinster Schools Junior Cup - 1991, 2002, 2012, 2017, 2019
- Leinster Schools Rugby Senior League - 1998
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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.
Notable past pupils
- Risteard Cooper – actor, comedian
- Killian Scott - actor
- Jason O'Mara - actor
- Peter McDonald - actor
- David O'Doherty - comedian
- Allen Leech – actor
- Robert Ballagh - painter
- Ruairi Quinn – former Labour Party (Ireland) leader and Minister for Finance (1994 - 1997)
- Richard Boyd Barrett – Teachta Dála (TD) AAA-PBP
- Eoghan Murphy – Fine Gael TD and Minister for Housing
- Charles Lysaght – lawyer
- John Brendan "China" Murray - became the school’s first international in 1963 when he made his debut against France at Lansdowne Road
- Derek McGrath - former Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby - became the school’s second international in 1984
- Noel Reid – Agen and former Leicester Rugby, Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby - became the school’s third international in 2014
- Luke McGrath – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby - son of Derek
- Dan Leavy – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby
- Adam Leavy – Ireland Rugby sevens
- Rory O'Loughlin – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby
- Nick McCarthy - Munster Rugby and former Leinster Rugby
- Ross Byrne – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby
- Ross Molony – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby u20s
- Rónan Kelleher – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby
- Cian Kelleher – Leinster Rugby and former Connacht Rugby
- James Ryan – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby
- Jack Kelly – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby u20s
- Scott Penny – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby u20s
- Max Deegan – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby
- Ryan Baird – Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby u20s
- Óisín Dowling – Leinster Rugby
- Jack Dunne – Leinster Rugby
- Harry Byrne – Leinster Rugby
- Denis Coulson – US Carcassonne and former FC Grenoble and Connacht Rugby
- Cathal Marsh - Rugby United New York and former Leinster Rugby and Ireland Rugby u20s
- Keith Gleeson – former Irish rugby international and Leinster player
- Simon Keogh – former Leinster Rugby
- Padraic Flanagan – first-class cricketer for Cambridge University
- Barry McCarthy – Leinster Lightning and Ireland and formerly of Durham
- 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.
- "High School ranks top in State, says new league table". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- "'Two or three per cent of each year go professional at the moment' - How one school has become Irish rugby's biggest production line". independent. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
- "Ireland Under-19s Reunite 20 Years On From World Championship Success". Irish Rugby. 2018-11-13. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
- Thornley, Gerry. "St Michael's conveyor belt showing no signs of slowing down". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
- Butler, Eoin (6 April 2014). "Great Scott!". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
- "'Top student' tells of delight". independent. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
- Healy, Yvonne. "Robert Ballagh's school days set him against denominational education and marked his start in rock `n' roll". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
- robertballagh.com http://robertballagh.com/illustratedbiography.php. Retrieved 2020-09-29. Missing or empty
- Hand, Lise (18 April 2012). "Megaphone Barrett finally in with a shout". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
- "The long blue conveyor belt". herald. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
- "St Michael's first rugby international". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
- "John Brendan Murray". ESPN scrum. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
- "Former Ireland back Noel Reid signs two-year deal with Top 14 side Agen". independent. Retrieved 2020-09-13.
- "Irish Fly Half Cathal Marsh Signs with Rugby United New York". Rugby United NY. Retrieved 2020-02-13.