St. Patrick's College, Cavan

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St. Patrick's College, Cavan
Coláiste Naomh Padraig
Cavan, County Cavan
Motto Ad Meliora
(To Better)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1871
Principal Mr Christopher Rowley
Gender male
Affiliation Diocese of Kilmore

Saint Patrick's College (Irish: Coláiste Padraig) is an all-male secondary school. Located in County Cavan, Ireland. It was founded in 1871 as a minor and major seminary for the Diocese of Kilmore. The College building was designed by the well known Cavan born architect, William Hague. It was officially opened by Bishop of Kilmore Dr. Nicholas Conaty in 1874 for the Diocese of Kilmore, replacing St. Augustine's Seminary (Kilmore Academy) established by Dr. James Browne in 1839. Kilmore Academy had both clerical and non-clerical students, over 100 clerical students went on to Maynooth College to be priests.[1]

It was a day and boarding school, however in 1998 it ended as a boarding school, the Kilmore Diocese Pastoral Centre is based in the old boarding school wing.[2] 2010 seen planning permission given for a new school building reportedly estimated to cost €8.6 million, which the school took position of in summer 2012.

The best-known teacher at the school is Eimear 'The Penny' Reilly, daughter of Mickey 'The Pound'.


The school offers leaving certificate subjects such as Irish, English, French, German, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Physics & Chemistry, Biology, Agricultural Science, Computer Studies, Accounting, Economics, Business, History, Geography, Art, Construction Studies, Music, Technical Drawing, as well as Career Guidance, P.E., and Religion. The schools Junior Cert cycle includes Irish, English French, German, Computer Studies, Mathematics, Science, Business Studies, Home Economics, History, Geography, Art, Materials Technology, Music Technical Graphics, as well as Civil, Social and Political Education, Religion and P.E.


The school has a rich history in sport particularly in gaelic football winning the Ulster MacRory Cup on twelve occasions, firstly in 1935. In 1972 it went on to win the all-ireland schools Hogan Cup. There is also a long tradition of Handball within the school. Hurling and Soccer are also played as well as more recently Chess and Golf.


Dr Liam Mc Niffe announced his retirement in 2012 and was replaced by Mr Christopher Rowley in August 2013. Previous Presidents/Principals of the College have included, Rev James Dolan, Rev Colm Hurley, Rev Dan Gallogly Rev. John Mc Tiernan, Rev. Gerard Alwill (1997-2003). Mr. Patsy Lee (2003-2008) was the first lay principal of the college.

Past pupils[edit]

The journalists John McEntee (The Express and Sky News) and Myles Dungan (RTÉ) are former pupils. Cardinal Seán Brady who was a student at St. Patrick's returned as a professor to the college, similarly the former Bishop Francis Joseph MacKiernan was a student and subsequently a teacher at the college. Archbishop John Charles McQuaid studied at St. Patrick's College, Cavan, then to Blackrock College in Dublin, run by the Holy Ghost Fathers Michael Harding the writer was educated and for a time a priest at the School. The present Bishop of Kilmore Philip Leo O'Reilly and the 2011 Irish presidential candidate Seán Gallagher also were past pupils of the college. The great Irish actor TP McKenna was also a boarder at the school. The internationally acclaimed actor Richie Stephens is an alum of the school,


  1. ^ The College Boys, Students of the Kilmore Academy and St Patrick’s College, Cavan 1839 - 2000, by Raymond Dunne and Francis J. MacKiernan, published by Cumann Seanchais Bhreifne, Cavan(2008).
  2. ^ Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Cavan