Coleraine Academical Institution

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Coordinates: 55°08′10″N 6°41′10″W / 55.136°N 6.686°W / 55.136; -6.686

Coleraine Academical Institution
Coleraine Grammar School logo 2017.png
Logo of Coleraine Grammar School after the merger between Coleraine Academical Institution and Coleraine High School
Motto CAI "Commitment and Achievement with Integrity"
Established 1860
Closed 2015
Type Voluntary Grammar
Headteacher Dr. David Carruthers 2007–2015
Location Castlerock Road
Co. Londonderry
BT51 3LA
Northern Ireland
Local authority NEELB
Students c. 750
Gender Boys
Ages 11–19
Houses White, Hunter, Huston, Clarke, Henry, McNeill
Colours Maroon, White and Navy               
Publication "The Inst" - School Magazine
Affiliations HMC

Coleraine Academical Institution (CAI), styled locally as Coleraine Inst, was a voluntary grammar school for boys, situated in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Coleraine Academical Institution occupied a 70-acre (280,000 m2) site on the Castlerock Road, where it was founded in 1860. It was, for many years, a boarding school until the boarding department closed in 1999. It was one of eight Northern Irish schools represented on the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC). The school had an enrolment of 778 pupils, aged 11–19, as of 2012. The school was generally regarded for its high academic standards[citation needed] and extensive sporting facilities, including 33-acre (130,000 m2) playing fields, indoor swimming pool, boat house, rugby pavilion, sports pavilion and gymnasium. The school has an extensive past pupil organisation, "The Coleraine Old Boys' Association", which has several branches across the world.

Coleraine Inst was nine times winner of the Ulster Schools Cup, the world's second oldest rugby competition. The school competed in the competition every year since 1876.

Buildings of Coleraine Academical Institution

As part of a general reorganization of schools in the Belfast area over a number of years,[1] Coleraine Academical Institute was merged in September 2015 with Coleraine High School on Coleraine's Lodge Road and became a fully boys' and girls' grammar school called Coleraine Grammar School.[2]


Over the years the school has had nine headmasters spanning the school's existence over 150 years.

  • (1860 – 1870) Alex Waugh Young was CAI's founding principal and very little is known of him.
  • (1870 – 1915) Thomas Galway Houston, OBE, MA, FRSAI Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland served the school for 45 years, enjoying a long retirement in Portstewart until his death in 1939 at the age of 96. Houston served as a member of the Senate in the Stormont Parliament for Queen's University, Belfast.[3]
  • (1915 – 1927) Thomas James Beare – affectionately known as "Tommy John" – had a rather shorter tenure in office, until his premature retirement on health grounds in 1927.
  • (1927 – 1955) Major William White – "The Chief" to generations of boys who both admired and feared him.
  • (1955 – 1979) Dr George Humphreys, by whom the major physical expansion of the school was guided. Previously on the staff at Campbell College, Belfast, it was during his Headmastership that Inst became an H.M.C. school.
  • (1979 – 1984) Dr Robert F. J. Rodgers, former headmaster of Bangor Grammar School, was headmaster of Inst until his appointment as Principal of Stranmillis Training College, Belfast.
  • (1984 – 2003) R. Stanley Forsythe was appointed following a ten-year period as headmaster of The Royal School, Dungannon and remained in post until retirement.
  • (2004 – 2007) Leonard F. Quigg was the first headmaster in the school's history to have been promoted 'from within the ranks'. Quigg served as an assistant master, Head of English, Senior Master, as both junior and senior Vice Principal before his appointment as headmaster in January 2004. Mr Quigg retired in 2007.
  • (2007–present) Dr David Carruthers is CAI's current headmaster. He was previously the Head of Mathematics at Royal Belfast Academical Institution.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]