Sandymount High School
Sandymount High School was founded in 1947 and was initially controversial because, as a non-denominational school, it wasn't owned by a church but by the Cannon family, who also provided the two headmasters the school had: father and son Patrick and Conall Cannon. Patrick's wife Eileen Cannon also served as headmistress.
The school's student body was arguably drawn from several distinct groups: those from a local council estate called Beech Hill, the offspring of parents disenchanted with denominational/same sex schools, students on the Malahide/Howth to Bray rail corridor and the 3 & 18 bus routes, and foreign nationals who paid tuition fees.
The school's pre-Celtic Tiger period accommodation and successful integration of the latter group was remarkable, as until the late 1990s non-white/non-Christian students were a rarity in the vast majority of Irish classrooms.
While the school had a gym — basically exercise classes — for Intermediate Certificate students, it had no compulsory sports or sports team while Conall Cannon, the second headmaster, was in charge. Allegedly he hated having compulsory sports while he was a student. The first headmaster, Patrick Cannon, was happy to have rugby union as the main school sport for both Intermediate and Leaving Certificate male students in the early 1960s.
A rival school opened next door several years later: Marian College, run by the Catholic Church. It was opened at the behest of John Charles McQuaid to counter what he perceived as the influence of Sandymount High. Marian College even copied the school colours.
- Murray, Peter (2010). "Educational Developmentalists Divided? Patrick Cannon, Patrick Hillery and the Economics of Education in the Early 1960s" (PDF). The Economic and Social Review. 41: 6.
- John Charles McQuaid: ruler of Catholic Ireland, John Cooney, p.295
- Parliamentary Debates, 26 April 2006 - the school is listed as one that closed since 1996
- Fionnula Flanagan, the Lisa Richards Agency
- Press Release Archive, University College Dublin, retrieved 21 July 2009
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