St Columba's College, Dublin
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|St Columba's College|
|Whitechurch, Dublin 16
Republic of Ireland
|Type||Co-educational boarding and day school|
|Motto||"Prudentes sicut serpentes, sed simplices sicut columbae" ("As wise as serpents, but as simple as doves")|
|School district||Dublin 16|
|Number of students||304|
|Color(s)||Red, Green and navy|
|Athletics||Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Athletics|
|Affiliation||Church of Ireland|
St Columba's College is a co-educational boarding and day school founded in 1843 located in Whitechurch, County Dublin, Ireland. Among the founders of the college were Viscount Adare (who later became The 3rd Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl in 1850), William Monsell (who was later created The 1st Baron Emly in 1874), Dr. William Sewell and James Henthorn Todd.
The school is affiliated with the Church of Ireland and caters to 300+ pupils, aged 11 to 18. Alumni are organized in the Old Columban Society. Its campus consists of 140 acres (0.6 km2) on the edge of Dublin and the M50 motorway. The school has grown up around a series of quadrangles, and major developments since the 1993 150th anniversary have provided it with many modern facilities. In 2004 it opened the Grange Building, housing over 100 boarders, as well as classrooms and house staff accommodation. In 2006, the 19th century Argyle buildings in the heart of the College were refurbished.
The old Cadogan Building opened in January 2008 as a new music school. Academic standards are high; in 2006, the average points score by all Leaving Certificate candidates was 440 out of 625, and in 2007 this went up slightly to 442. In 2008 it was 424, in 2009 446, and in 2010 the highest yet at 459. Over the past five years the average has been: 442 points. Average class size is 12 pupils per teacher. The Sunday Independent newspaper has identified it as the most expensive school in Ireland. School fees continued to rise in 2015-16. Although the sector has recovered with more pupils it remains al ower total than at its good height in 2008. Meanwhile, some journalists have softened attitudes towards the fee-paying sector acknowledging their excellent results as outstanding.
St Columba's operates a house system. Each pupil is placed in one of seven houses; Stackallan, Glen or Gwynn for all boys Form II to VI; Hollypark or Iona for all girls; Beresford for junior girls; Tibradden for boys under 13. The size of house ranges from 20 to 65 pupils. A Housemaster or Housemistress, assisted by at least one resident House Tutor, is in charge of each house, and acts in loco parentis in every aspect of the children's welfare throughout their time at the college.
Tibradden and Beresford occupy separate buildings in the centre of the college. Like the senior houses each has its own living and sleeping quarters and routine. Older boys and girls, selected by the house staff, help to provide an existence more structured and more protected than that of the rest of the school.
The school year is divided into three terms of which the first, the Michaelmas Term (September to December) is the longest. The Hilary Term is from January to March. The third is the Trinity Term, from April to June, and this is when external public examinations are taken. The Michaelmas Term has a substantial holiday at half-term, when the college closes down.
There are also shorter half-term breaks in the other terms, including following the St Columba's Day celebrations in late May or early June. Each term there is a three- or four-day Exodus during which the college closes; most pupils from outside Ireland stay with their guardians, or Irish school friends.
Old Columban Society
Founded in 1909, the Old Columban Society is the alumni organization of the college. The first president of the society was Acting-Warden R M Gwynn supported by OCs W.F.S. Bantry White and Cecil L. Smith. It keeps members in touch with each other and the college and has also published books about the history of the college. The Columban was published in 1910, initially six terms a year, and thence once a term. During the First World War it denounced the Easter Rising. Many OCs were officers in the British Army, so that when one of them died the bell in college was rung in commemoration. And in 1917 a Treasurer was appointed to oversee editorials and printing.
Each year in May they publish the Old Columban Bulletin, containing about 25 pages of news of Old Columbans and the college. Regular dinners and drinks parties are organised, in Dublin, London and Belfast. An Old Columban Scholarship is awarded to children of Old Columbans, who are all entitled to a discount on College fees.
Currently they have over 2,800 members, of whom over 50% live in the Republic of Ireland, 5% in Northern Ireland, 16% in Great Britain, 5% in continental Europe and 7% in the rest of the world. Old Columbans Germany has established a website, and is organizing events for Old Columbans from Germany as well as Old Columbans living in Germany.
Notable past pupils
- Robert Babington, Ulster Unionist politician and judge
- Arthur W. Barton, a school benefactor
- Christopher Barton, rower (won The Boat Race and an Olympic silver medal in 1948)
- John S. Beckett, musician, composer and conductor
- Sir Dermot Boyle, Marshal of the Royal Air Force
- Adam Clayton, musician (U2)
- Brian Faulkner, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
- Jasmine Guinness, designer and fashion model
- Edward Gwynn, a most distinguished scholar
- Stephen Gwynn, a prolific writer and author
- E. Chambré Hardman, pictorialist photographer
- Christopher Haskins, Baron of Skidby
- Joseph Hone, writer, professor
- Rex Ingram, director
- Roy Johnston, Irish physicist, marxist and former member of the I.R.A.
- Sir Kenneth O'Connor, President of the East African Court of Appeal
- Patrick Scott, artist
- Victoria Smurfit, actress
- Holly Somerville, botanical illustrator and artist.
- William Trevor, KBE, writer
- Ivan Yates, politician, former TD
- Michael Yeats, barrister and Fianna Fáil politician
- Rev. William Maturin (1842–43)
- Rev. Robert Corbet Singleton M.A. (1843–47)
- Rev. M.C. Morton M.A. (Oxon) (1848–50)
- Rev. George Williams (1850–56)
- Rev. John Gwynn F.T.C.D. (1856–64)
- Rev. John Longden (1864–67)
- Rev. Robert Rice (1867–91)
- Rev. Percy Whelan (1891-1904)
- Rev. William Parker (1904–08)
- Rev. R.M. Gwynn (1909-09), Acting-Warden
- Rev. William Blackburn (1909–19)
- Rev. R.M. Gwynn, (1919-1919) Acting-Warden
- Rev. C.B. Armstrong M.A., B.D. (1919–33)
- Rev. C.W. Sowby M.A. (Oxon) (1933–49)
- F.M. Argyle (1949–74)
- "Todd, James Henthorn". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Sunday Independent, 4 May 2008.