St Augustine's and Good Counsel College, New Ross

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St. Augustine's College New Ross
Motto In Omnibus Caritas
(In all things love)
Established 1890
Type Secondary school
Affiliations Roman Catholic Church
Principal Mr. Mark O'Brien
Chaplain Rev. Fr. Michael Collender O.S.A., Rev. Fr. Pat Codd O.S.A.
Location New Ross, Ireland
Campus Urban
Colours Blue, White          
Enrollment ca. 850
Staff Approx. 60
Athletics Hurling, Gaelic football

St Augustine's and Good Counsel College (Coláiste na Dea Comhairle), New Ross, known as "Good Counsel College" or "The Counsel" by its students and residents of the local area, is an all-boys secondary school in County Wexford, Ireland, which caters for over 850 students. It was founded and is now conducted by the Irish Augustinians. It is one of only two secondary schools in Ireland under the order of the Augustinians, with the other being in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. It is the largest school in New Ross. The current principal is Mark O Brien, who assumed the post in 2013, after the retirement of Fr. John Hennebry O.S.A.

Patron saint[edit]

The College is named in honour of the 4th-century saint Augustine of Hippo, a philosopher and theologian whose writings were very influential in the doctrinal development of Western Christianity.

Other English-speaking Augustinian schools with the same patron include one in Richland, New Jersey and one in San Diego, California – both in the United States; Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod, Colegio San Agustin, Biñan and Colegio San Agustin, Makati in the Philippines; a school in Malta, another Irish one in Dungarvan, and one in Sydney, Australia.


Since it was established in its present form in 1256, the Augustinian Order throughout the world has viewed involvement in education as an important part of its apostolate. Beginning in the 1790s, the Augustinians made various attempts to establish colleges in New Ross, but due to adverse political and economic circumstances their efforts met with a limited degree of success until 1890, when Good Counsel College was established. From 1890 until 1980, the old Good Counsel College stood in the heart of New Ross. It was a small boarding school which catered for students from all parts of Ireland.

With the educational revolution in the 1960s, the scene changed dramatically. Student numbers increased greatly, the great majority of them being local day-students. A greatly expanded curriculum placed increasing demands on the existing facilities. Accordingly, a new college was constructed on the outskirts of the town and opened its doors as the new "Counsel" in 1984. Since then the college has grown further with the addition of a technology block (Villanova), a new classroom block (Cascia), and a large sports hall with gymnasium named after the past rector of the college, Fr. John Cosgrave, O.S.A.. More recently, four floodlit astro turf pitches have been added. Catering today for over 850 boys, Good Counsel College continues to provide an education in the Augustinian tradition.

The vast majority of the school's current teaching staff are now lay-persons, although a number of Augustinian priests take part in the school's administration and chaplaincy.


Facilities include a refectory, assembly hall, sports centre including an indoor sports hall and gymnasium, learning support centre, technology block, first year block and various playing fields including three GAA pitches, two rugby pitches, a soccer pitch and four astroturf pitches. There are two basketball/tennis courts behind the sports hall.

The new New Ross Swimming Pool is located on the grounds of Good Counsel College.

Good Counsel College Under Snow

Former students[edit]

Former significant students include: international soccer striker Kevin Doyle, who scored thirteen goals in his debut season in the English top flight with Reading and who was transferred to Wolverhampton Wanderers in July 2009 for a club record fee of 6.5 million; recording-artist Michael Stafford who preforms under the stage name Maverick Sabre; business man Dermot Desmond, the 746th richest person in the world, who donated money to the school to build the current sports centre; and leading racehorse trainer Aidan O'Brien, who also received his second level education at the school, as did other racing figures Enda Bolger, Tom Doyle, Tom O'Brien, Sean Flanagan and Matthew O'Connor.

Sporting achievements[edit]

Good Counsel College maintains a strong reputation and presence in Colleges GAA. In 1997 the school secured the Senior Colleges A Football Championship and won the Hogan Cup, the premier trophy for Colleges Gaelic Football. In 2009 and 1997 they were runners-up in the Senior Colleges A Hurling Championship.


  • Thomas C. Butler, O.S.A., "Near Restful Waters – The Augustinians in New Ross and Clonmines". (Dublin & Kildare, 1975).

External links[edit]