Catholic University School
|Catholic University School SM|
Sub Mariae Nomine
Under The Name Of Mary
|89 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
|Type||Private school, Independent school|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Marist Fathers|
|Headmaster||Rev. Martin Daly SM MA, M.Sc.|
|Number of students||600|
|Colour(s)||Blue and Red|
|Former pupils||Old Cathonians|
|Fees||€4,800 per term 2012/2013|
Catholic University School (CUS) is a private, Catholic secondary school for boys. The School is one of the original private schools of Ireland which include Blackrock College, Belvedere College, Terenure College and Clongowes Wood College which have maintained an all-boys education.
Catholic University School has a large enrollment of the sons of diplomats and foreign dignitaries including members of the Malaysian Royal family. The school also has, and continues to educate some of the most notable men in Irish society, including politicians and leading figures in the academic, literary and business worlds. Located on the south side of Dublin, Ireland it is run by the Marist Fathers.
The foundation of the Catholic University School has its basis in Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Emancipation movement of the late 1820s, the Catholic Relief Act 1829, and a broader Catholic Revival in the United Kingdom (of which Ireland was then part). Before then, while many Catholics received some degree of primary education, few received secondary education and very few received a University education.
 The only university in Ireland had been Trinity College, Dublin - the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin. However, although the University of Dublin (unlike the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge) had been opened to Catholics in 1793, only a few wealthy Catholics attended. And those who did had either been educated privately, or at schools such as Stonyhurst College in England.
In 1850, Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter founding three colleges of the Queen's University of Ireland. The colleges in Cork, Belfast and Galway were non-denominational, and at the Synod of Thurles in 1850, the Catholic Church officially condemned them as "Godless Colleges". They declared a need for a Catholic University and Cardinal John Henry Newman became the first Rector. The Catholic University of Ireland was founded in 1851 - though not fully established until 18 May 1854.
The University faced several problems in its opening years due to lack of money, and public and political support - which in turn lead to a low number of students. Dr Daniel Murray, the Archbishop of Dublin established a school at 16-17 Harcourt Street to ensure larger numbers of students for the new university and named the school after Saint Laurence O'Toole, the patron Saint of Dublin. St. Laurence's Academy, founded in 1850, was accompanied by Belvedere College established by the Jesuits on the north side of the city.
The first administrators in the school were mostly young Dublin priests who had studied at the Irish College in Rome. Among them was Dr. James Quinn, who set about enrolling students, and within a year the school had an enrollment of 130 students. The subjects taught were classical rather than practical and included Greek, Latin, French, German, Italian and the Arts. Pope Pius XI eventually chose Quinn as the first Roman Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia - and he left the school.
Not only had Quinn taken up his appointment in Brisbane, but the reaction to a report by the Royal Commission on Endowed Schools in 1858 was coming to a head in 1859. The report suggested that all intermediate schools be run on a "mixed basis" or as a interdenominational system, which was opposed by the Catholic Church. The report also suggested that intermediate schools be under the management of the "Board of Endowed Schools". The bishops and synods opposed these recommendations, and the Catholic hierarchy as a whole decided that they would not agree to them.
By 1862, many changes had taken place. Dr. Bartholomew Woodlock took over as rector of the Catholic University, and suggested that the university should ignore the report's recommendations and proceed with the foundation of feeder secondary schools on its own. He decided to set up two new Catholic secondary schools: Catholic University High School, Waterford, and St. Flannan's College in Ennis - the latter of which still exists. Along with St. Laurence's Academy in Dublin, these schools were the Catholic University's primary "feeder schools". Over time, St. Laurence's Academy developed a close relationship with the University. Woodlock was President of the school and professors from the University also taught in the school. The school was given a name reflecting its function: the Catholic University School.
In the early 1860s, the finances of the School and University were intertwined, and the rent for the Harcourt Street premises was a high £26000 per annum. Neither the school nor the University were able to cope with this burden. The other two schools were not succeeding, and Dr. Woodlock was anxious to relieve himself of the burden of all three schools. While the Catholic University School got into deeper financial trouble, Cullen was adamant that it was not possible for CUS to close down even for a year - because it would be possible that the school would never open again.
In 1867 both Cullen and Woodlock travelled to Dundalk for the consecration of Michael Kiernan as Archbishop of Armagh. While there, they visited the Marist College in Dundalk and were impressed with what they saw. Subsequently, Cullen and Dr. Conroy, his secretary, wrote to John Letterrier, father superior of Dundalk, and offered him and the Marists St. Laurence's Academy to take over. Letterrier brought the offer to the General Council of the Marist Fathers in Lyons in France. After a two-day petition, he convinced the Council of the benefit of taking on the Dublin school.
After Letterrier returned from Lyons in July 1867, Woodlock informed him of the financial burden the Harcourt Street premises had been. He recommended that the Marists purchase new premises, and when 89 Lower Leeson Street became available, the Marists purchased it. The Harcourt Street site remained on as the premises for the school for a short while, as work was required to prepare the Leeson Street building so it could be used as a school. On 29 September 1867 the Catholic University School opened on Lower Leeson Street.
Admission to Catholic University School is a process that begins with an interview of the boy and his parents by a member of the teaching staff and then by the Headmaster. Brothers of current or former pupils as well as sons of Old Cathonians are given preference for entry to the school. Although a private, fee-paying school CUS does offer a very limited number of scholarships for excellence in sport (Ronnie Delany scholarship) and academic work (Sarsfield-Hogan scholarship) to talented boys who wish to attend the school but can not afford to pay the fees.
The curriculum offered at the school is broad, covering all common subjects in the State Examinations including Classical Studies, German, Art, Technical Graphics, Chemistry, Physics, Accounting and Economics. Leaving Cert scores are quite high, with over 70% of students scoring 500 points or more. Catholic University School is placed in the top ten schools in Ireland with 100% of students since 2009 accepting a place in Higher or Further Education. CUS is also a feeder school for top Irish Universities such as UCD and Trinity College.
Catholic University School has many traditions which both pupils and beaks (teachers) continue to carry out to this day.
The Head's list awards pupils recognition in each year group for consistent hard work and effort throughout the year. Sarsfield-Hogan scholars are pupils who achieve excellence in a modern language. The Cusack cup is awarded each year to the student who gains the best results in the Junior Certificate exams.
The school has a long musical history and this is displayed through the school song or chant "Oh CUS" which is often heard at school rugby matches, particularly cup finals. The primary religious anthem of the school in recent years has been Dominican Magnificat, taken from the The Magnificat passage in The Gospel of Luke.
Other school traditions and cultures
Religious traditions of the school include weekly services in the school Oratory and annual services for deceased past pupils. The school also has a long standing connection to SVP and holds an annual "hamper fund" in order to raise funds to the charity. CUS also sends a group of students on an annual basis to Davao in the Philippines, where they teach English to the homeless, and also help with the various Marist Missions. Daily collections are also held in the school with pupils and teachers contributing generously. Catholic University School also publishes an annual school yearbook which brings to light the achievements of pupils and the school along with the charitable work of pupils and other school news.
Catholic University School is located near St. Stephen's green in Dublin. The Georgian buildings to the front of the school are home to an extensive Georgian library and other formal function rooms as well as the school Oratory and Headmasters residence.
The old buildings of the school include a great hall decorated in the Victorian style, a sports hall with a modern underground gym and changing rooms and the "old school" building, a Victorian building home to the English, Classics and History departments of the school. CUS also houses 2 modern buildings constructed around 2008. These buildings contain several classrooms, 3 science laboratories and 2 state of the art computer rooms. The new buildings also house the school's new modern restaurant. The school also owns a large area of land in Milltown, Co. Dublin, this is home to the schools 4 rugby pitches and cricket field as well as the sports pavilion. The School has announced plans to demolish the current pavilion and replace it with a new modern building with indoor squash courts and rooftop tennis courts, this 7 Million Euro development is due for completion November 2013. CUS also has tennis courts and swimming pool facilities near-by in Ballsbridge.
Starting in 1990 the school began a large renovation project which resulted in the construction of several new buildings at an estimated cost of over 4 million Euro. The Georgian buildings at the front of the school have also recently undergone restoration work.
The school has a long association as a rugby school, with students released on Wednesday afternoons to participate in sports. Rugby and cricket take place in Bird Avenue, Milltown. The school plays Cricket from Easter on. CUS is regarded as one of the dominate cricket schools in Leinster and Ireland. Other sports played during summer half include Golf, Badminton, Polo, Tennis, Squash, Athletics and Eton Fives. All sports are under the jurisdiction of the school games-master responsible for the organisation of all sporting activity within the school. Olympic gold medal winner Ronald Delany is a past pupil.
Catholic University School is one of the dominate schools in debating in English, Irish, French and German with students winning prizes at a provincial and national level. The school also actively encourages boys to take part in internal school debates and speeches with the literary and debating society playing a prominent role in school life. Literary excellence in students is rewarded with the Sebastian Barry award for English. Music is also an important aspect of school life with the CUS choir singing at school services and taking part in many choral competitions.
CUS Past Pupils Union
Catholic University School Union is one of the oldest past pupils unions in Ireland. The union is a forum for Old Cathonians to gather for events such as the Presidents annual dinner, Christmas Lunch at the Stephens Green Hibernian Club or the Past vs Present pupils golf competition. Former union presidents include Sir Arthur Chance, Mr. Justice Richmond McLoughlin and Niall O'Farrell.
- Arthur Clery - Politician and university professor
- Robert Dudley Edwards - Professor and Irish historian
- Patrick Lynch (Irish Economist) - Former UCD Professor of Economics and Chairman of Aer Lingus
- Count Joseph Mary Plunkett - Poet and scholar
- Austin Delaney - Education economist and Linguist
- His Excellency Bobby Mc Donagh - Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain
- Frank Feely - Former Dublin City Manager
- Patrick Lynch (Irish Economist) - TD, former UCD Professor of Economics and Chairman of Aer Lingus
- His Excellency Michael Collins - Ambassador of Ireland to the United States of America
- Arthur Clery - Politician and university professor
- John Dillon - Leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party
- Sean Rockall Loftus - lecturer and former politician
- John Boland - MP for South Kerry
- Joseph Mary Plunkett - Poet,scholar and member of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic.
Law, Medicine and Business
- Mr. Justice Richmond McLoughlin - Supreme court Judge
- Sir Arthur Chance F.R.C.S.I - President of the Royal College of Surgeons and surgeon to the Viceroy.
- Prof. E.J. Mc Weeney, M.A., M.D. - Professor of Bacteriology, UCD.
- Niall O'Farell - Entrepreneur and member of RTE's "Dragons den"
- Ron Delaney - Irish Olympic gold medal winner (athletics) and honorary Doctor of Law.
- John Pius Boland - Barrister-at-Law, Master of the bench of Lincoln's inn and MP
Arts and Literature
- Sebastian Barry - Author
- Joe Dowling - Artistic Director, Guthrie Theater, USA; former Artistic Director, Abbey Theater
- George Desmond Hodnett - Musician, song-writer and Irish Times music critic
- John Larchet - Composer, UCD's first Professor of Music (1921–1958)
- Graham Linehan - Writer, actor and director, including Father Ted
- PJ McCall - Writer
- George O'Neill - Academic and author
- Dave Allen - Author
- James Moriarty - Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin