Garbally College

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St. Joseph's College, Garbally Park

Republic of Ireland
MottoLatin: Fide et Fortitudine
(Faith and Courage)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s)St. Joseph
FoundersJohn Healy and James Madden
PresidentColm Allman
PrincipalPaul Walsh[1][2]
PatronMichael Duignan
ChaplainIomar Daniels
Number of students534 (2016/2017)
Colour(s)Blue and white
PublicationThe Fountain

St. Joseph's College, Garbally Park (Irish: Coláiste Sheosaimh Naofa) is an Irish voluntary Catholic secondary school situated in Garbally Park, the former seat of the Earl of Clancarty, near Ballinasloe in County Galway. It is a single-sex boys day school which has previously served as a boarding school. It is more commonly known as Garbally College (Irish: Coláiste Ghearrbhaile).


St Joseph's College was founded as a Roman Catholic seminary in 1892 to help educate priests for the Diocese of Clonfert, which owns it. It is managed by Michael Duignan, Bishop of Clonfert, and four other governors. It is staffed by a priest of the diocese and lay teachers.

The college was established at Cartron with funds provided by James Madden. Due to expansion the college was changed to Esker, near Athenry in 1894. In 1901, it moved to the building known locally as "The Pines", at Creagh, Ballinasloe. In 1923, it moved to its present site at Garbally, once seat of the Earls of Clancarty. The Diocese purchased Garbally Court (built in 1819) and estate from the trustees of the Earls of Clancarty for £6,750 in 1922.

In the 1940s, 50s and 60s two other members of the same Madden family, brothers John Madden of Killimor and George Madden of London bestowed many gifts on Garbally, including the funds to build the present science halls, study hall, extra classrooms and dining hall.


The school offers both the Junior and Leaving Certificate cycles and was one of the first schools to implement a Transition Year programme when it was introduced in 1973. Garbally offers all the mandatory subjects, along with woodwork, metalwork, design & communication, music, food appreciation and a new gym facility.


Garbally College is well known for its sporting tradition in Rugby Union, Hurling and Gaelic football. The college has many Connacht Schools Senior Cups and Connacht Schools Junior Cups and has produced a number of Irish Rugby Internationals. Garbally have won the Senior Cup 48 times, most recently in 2020. Garbally have won the Junior Cup 43 times, most recently in 2019.

The last team which included borders to win the Cup was in 2007.

Notable alumni[edit]


Arts and Media





Notable staff and former staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paul Walsh New Garbally Principal" (PDF). Ballinasloe Life. Vol. 10, no. 3. p. 27. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Welcome for new Principal of St Joseph's College, Garbally Park, Ballinasloe. The Diocese of Clonfert is delighted to welcome the appointment of Mr Paul Walsh, MA as Principal of St Joseph's College, Garbally". 29 July 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2020.

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