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Portora Royal School

Coordinates: 54°21′04″N 7°39′18″W / 54.351°N 7.655°W / 54.351; -7.655
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54°21′04″N 7°39′18″W / 54.351°N 7.655°W / 54.351; -7.655

Portora Royal School
1 Lough Shore Road, BT74 7HA

TypeGrammar school, Public School
MottoOmnes Honorate
FounderJames I
Closed28 June 2016
ChairmanJohn McDowell
Last principalJ.N. Morton
Last vice principalTrevor Smith
ChaplainKenny Hall
Enrolment491 (2013/14)
HousesUlster, Munster, Connaught, Leinster
Colour(s)Black and gold    

Portora Royal School located in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, was one of the public schools founded by the royal charter in 1608, by James I, making it one of the oldest schools in Ireland at the time of its closure.[1][2][self-published source][3] Originally called Enniskillen Royal School, the school was established some ten years after the Royal Decree, in 1618, 15 miles outside Enniskillen at Ballybalfour under the direction of Sir William Cole, before moving to Enniskillen in 1661. It was not until 1778 that the school moved to its final location on Portora Hill, Enniskillen, where the nucleus of the later all boys school was built.[4] The school admitted a mixture of boarders and day pupils for much of its history, but became a day school in the 1990s.

On 28 June 2016, Portora Royal School closed. Portora Royal School amalgamated with Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School which launched the mixed Enniskillen Royal Grammar School on 1 September 2016, which is partially based on the original site of Portora Hill and the site of Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School.

Notable headmasters[edit]

Old Portorans[edit]

Oscar Wilde[edit]

Former pupil Oscar Wilde won a scholarship to Trinity College Dublin, and his name appears on the school's Honours board. There is also an Ulster History Circle Blue Plaque on the school building commemorating him.[15]

Wilde's name was painted over in 1895 following his imprisonment for homosexuality, which was criminalised in the United Kingdom. Additionally, initials he had carved into the window casement of a classroom as a student there were removed. His name was later reinstated on the Honours board.[16]

Formation of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School[edit]

A proposal by the Department of Education to merge Portora Royal School with the Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School to form "Enniskillen Royal Grammar School" was approved by the Minister of Education, John O'Dowd, in June 2015 but the matter was taken to the High Court in October 2015 due to much local opposition. The High Court bid to stop the amalgamation of the two Enniskillen grammar schools failed.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Andrew Gibson (1 November 2009). Samuel Beckett. Reaktion Books. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-1-86189-713-8.
  2. ^ Desmond Keenan (7 February 2013). Ireland 1603-1702, Society and History. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 367–. ISBN 978-1-4797-7921-5.
  3. ^ John P. Wilson (16 December 2013). The Routledge Encyclopaedia of UK Education, Training and Employment: From the Earliest Statutes to the Present Day. Routledge. pp. 257–. ISBN 978-1-317-79652-7.
  4. ^ "Portora Royal". www.portoraroyal.co.uk.
  5. ^ STUART, Ian Malcolm Bowen in Who Was Who (A. & C. Black), online edition by Oxford University Press, December 2007, accessed 18 February 2014 (subscription site)
  6. ^ a b c Robinson, James. 2005. Pentecostal Origins: Early Pentecostalism in Ireland in the Context of the British Isles: Studies in Evangelical History and Thought. Milton Keynes, United Kingdom: Paternoster, pp. 34–35.. ISBN 978-1-84227-329-6
  7. ^ James Quinn. 2009. Bourchier, James David. In James McGuire, James Quinn (ed.), Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63331-4
  8. ^ Gordon Dunne
  9. ^ Patrick Maume. 2011. Kilfedder, Sir James. In James McGuire, James Quinn (ed.), Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63331-4
  10. ^ Patrick M. Geoghegan. 2009. Lyte, Henry Francis. In James McGuire, James Quinn (ed.), Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63331-4
  11. ^ "GAA: Jimmy was the real McCoy". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 28 March 2004.
  12. ^ Loobey, John. (2017). Blessed John Sullivan: A Man Sent By God. Dublin: Messenger Publications. ISBN 978-1910248-40-9.
  13. ^ "Leslie WADDINGTON". Debrett's People of Today. Debrett's. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  14. ^ Smith, William (1855). A Smaller Latin-English Dictionary. London: William Clowes and sons. pp. i–ii.
  15. ^ "Oscar Wilde blue plaque in Enniskillen". Blue Plaque Places. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017.
  16. ^ Ellmann, Richard (1988). Oscar Wilde. Vintage Books. p. 26. ISBN 9780394759845.
  17. ^ "Bid to stop schools' amalgamation fails". BBC News. 3 February 2016.

External links[edit]