St Patrick's Classical School

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St. Patrick's Classical School
Scoil Clásicach Naomh Pádraig
In Christo Confido
Latin for "I trust in Christ"
Moatlands, Navan, County Meath
Denomination Roman Catholic
Established 1930
Principal Mr. Colm O'Rourke
Vice principal Mr. Harry McGarry
Chaplain Fr. Kevin Heery
Gender Male
Number of students c. 879[1]
Colour(s) Black, Amber
Nickname Super Pat's
Patron The Most Reverend, Dr. Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath

St. Patrick's Classical School is a prominent Roman Catholic-run school for boys in Navan, County Meath. It has produced a number of prominent politicians, journalists, Irish sports personalities, broadcasters and two winners of the famous Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe. It's known throughout the country for its ability to produce a potentially All-Ireland winning Football team every year. 100% of all students who sat the Leaving Cert in 2012 accepted a place in third level education in Ireland.


St. Patrick's Classical School was founded in 1930 when the Diocese of Meath's seminary, St. Finian's College, which had previously been the main provider of denominational education for boys locally, moved from Navan to the new diocesan capital, Mullingar in County Westmeath. The school's patron is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath. The school was previously located in a small architecturally distinctive building on Academy Street in the centre of the town, but in 1970 it moved to a new campus at the outskirts of the town.

As its name indicated, it placed heavy emphasis on the teaching of the classics, Latin and Greek, rather than vocational subjects. Until the granting of free education by the Irish Minister for Education, Brian Lenihan, (his predecessor who proposed free education, Donogh O'Malley died before he could implement the plan) the school operated as a fee-paying school. Its education is now free. Though predominantly Roman Catholic, the school attracts many pupils from other religions and none. It particularly attracts members of the local Islamic community.

Although the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath remains the school patron, the school has long been under lay control and the last member of the clergy that was principal of the school was Fr Michael Sheerin in 1988. Following the decline in numbers of people entering the priesthood in Ireland, the school no longer has any priest on its teaching staff.

On 27 November 2009, Uachtáran na hÉireann, Her Excellency Mary McAleese visited the school.

The school uniform consists of a light blue shirt, a navy jumper and grey slacks for junior students. Senior students wear navy slacks.

The school has often been credited for its success in National Competitions and Leagues.[citation needed] The Board of Management of St. Patrick's Classical School implements an admission policy that conforms with the Education Act 1998, the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the Equal Status Act 2000.

In March 2013, the Irish Independent Newspaper said St. Patrick's Classical School is the town's most prestigious secondary school, which runs a waiting list of more than 200 students.[2]

Notable past pupils[edit]

The school has produced many prominent figures in Irish politics, business, the international media and comedy. Among its most prominent ex-pupils are James Tully, the Labour Party Deputy Leader and Irish government minister in the 1970s and early 1980s; Jim Fitzsimons, a longtime Fianna Fáil Member of the European Parliament; Jim Duffy, a journalist; Simon Cumbers, a prominent broadcast journalist killed by al-Qaeda in 2004; David Beggy, a Gaelic football star turned successful rugby player; Dylan Moran and Tommy Tiernan, both winners of the famous international Perrier Award for Comedy at the Edinburgh Festival who had award-winning comedy shows on British television; London West End star Willy Byrne; Irish radio and television presenter Hector Ó hEochagáin. The school was also attended by the successful trance DJ and producer John O'Callaghan.

One teacher, Mr. Kevin Mallon, became a Gaelic games radio and television commentator, while another teacher, and the current school principal, Mr. Colm O'Rourke, became famous throughout Ireland as a prominent member of the longtime successful Meath senior Gaelic football team, before becoming one of the main panelists on Gaelic games coverage on RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcaster.[citation needed]

Sporting activities[edit]

Sporting facilities at the school include two full sized Gaelic football pitches, one full size astro-turf pitch, a sports arena, a state of the art sports hall, a table tennis room, and a fully equipped weights gym.

Sport has been played at St. Patrick's since the foundation of the School; the school believes that it complements academic life.[3]

Gaelic football[edit]

The Senior Gaelic football team has won the Hogan Cup (All Ireland Schools "A" competition) three times, in 2000, 2001 and 2004. The current team is coached by Mr. Colm O'Rourke, Mr. Enda Monaghan and Mr. Colm Kileen. Also, the Juvenile Football team won the North Leinster Juvenile Championship 2011 against St Mary's School in Mullingar by 2-18(Pat's) to 1-5(St. Mary's). The Junior team (U-16) also clinched a "Leinster Junior A Title" in 2011/2012 which they had never seemed to have won for many years, they beat Clonkeen College in a match where the Dublin side only grabbed 2 points.

In the 2012/2013 season the Senior team won the Leinster final, they had a bye for the first round, Pat's bet Maote Community School in Pairc Tailteann with a score 2-8 to 1-7, in the Leinster quarter final they played St Peter's College, Wexford and they were Victorious with a tally of 2-7 to 1-6. In the Leinster semi final against Coláiste Eoin of Dublin in Ratoath and the final score was 1-9 to 1-8. They won the Leinster Final after beating St. Mary's Secondary School Edenderry in Mullingar at a score of 1-12 to 2-07. They bet Pobalscoil Corca Dhuibhne from Dingle in the All-Ireland Semi Final in Nenagh at a score of 2-07 to 0-11. In the All Ireland Final on the 13 of April, 2013 in Croke Park, St. Patrick's Classical School lost to St. Patrick's of Maghera on a score of 1-20 to 1-10.[4]


In 2010, the Junior Rugby team won the Junior Duff Cup against Skerries Community School. The score was 8-3. In 2012, The Junior Rugby team won the Division A league and Junior Duff cup for the first time. Beating St.Columbus 11-6 with flanker Éanna O'Brien scoring the winning try in the league and beating St.Finians 22-3 to win the cup.


St. Pat's has won many basketball tournaments over the years. The U-19's and U-16's basketball teams both made it to the north-east regional finals in 2011/2012. The U-19's won their final but were knocked out in the qualifiers for the All-Ireland. The U-16's lost their final but were able to advance to All-Ireland qualifiers but were knocked out.


This year trials were held in Royal Tara Golf Club. The Junior Panel was Daire Creavin, Gary Gibney, Gary Farrell, Niall Kearney, and Patrick Somer. The Senior Panel was Ian Sweeney, Evan McGrane, Chris Gallagher, Gary Gibney, and Daire Creavin.[5]

Charity work[edit]

In 2014, 5 students from 5th year raised €1300 for the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation by selling wristbands in honour of Kerry teenager Donal Walsh who had terminal cancer.[6]

Mission Statement[edit]

The mission of St. Patrick’s Classical School is to educate its students according to the best traditions and highest standards of Catholic schooling under the patronage of the Bishop of Meath.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ St. Patrick's Classical School, Yearbook 2012/2013. Page 18
  6. ^ St Pats Tribune, 14th of March 2014, Volume 6, front page
  7. ^ Dialann Scoile of St. Patrick's Classical School, page 4.