St Patrick's College, Dublin

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St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra
Coláiste Phádraig
St Pats College Drumcondra.jpg
St Patrick's College, Drumcondra
Latin: Collegii Sancti Patricii
MottoIntellectum da mihi, Domine
Motto in English
Give me understanding, Lord
TypeRoman Catholic
AffiliationCongregation of the Mission (1883–1999)
PresidentDr Daire Keogh
Students2,400 (2016)
Location, ,
53°22′14″N 6°15′16″W / 53.370425°N 6.254396°W / 53.370425; -6.254396Coordinates: 53°22′14″N 6°15′16″W / 53.370425°N 6.254396°W / 53.370425; -6.254396
ColoursBlue, white and yellow             
NicknameSt Pat's
AffiliationsNational University of Ireland (1975–95)
Dublin City University (1995–2016)
SportsHurling, Gaelic football, camogie

St Patrick's College (Irish: Coláiste Phádraig) was a third level institution in Ireland, the leading function of which was as the largest primary teacher training college in the Republic of Ireland, which had at one time up to 2,000 students. Founded in Drumcondra, in the northern suburbs of Dublin, in 1875, with a Roman Catholic ethos, it offered a number of undergraduate courses, primarily in primary education and arts, and in time postgraduate courses too, mostly in education and languages.

Since 30 September 2016, the campus of the former college is known as DCU St Patrick's Campus. On that day it was dissolved as an institution and incorporated into Dublin City University, along with Mater Dei Institute of Education, All Hallows College, and the Church of Ireland College of Education. The teacher training elements of those combined institutions currently form DCU's fifth faculty, 'The DCU Institute of Education'. All humanities-based courses at the former St Patrick's were then absorbed by DCU's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.


The college was established at 1–2 Drumcondra Road in 1875, moving to the Belvedere House in 1883 following the purchase by the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, when the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian) community took over the running of the College. In its first 25 years over 2,000 students graduated from the college. The college trained students to become primary school teachers and was male only until 1971. In 1894, a National School was established on campus and students would practice there. St Patrick's College of Education was a recognised colleges of the National University of Ireland from 1975 to 1995.[1] In 1993, the college commenced its association with the nearby Dublin City University (DCU) which was newly established. In 1995 the college of education formally ended its connection with the NUI and becoming a college of DCU. The college developed a number of Arts and Humanities undergraduate and postgraduate courses with DCU. The Vincentian administration of the College ended in 1999. In 2008 the college, along with the other local colleges, Mater Dei and All Hallows, signed a new linkage agreement with Dublin City University.[2] In May 2012, it was announced that there would be a €40 million investment in facilities at the college to provide for 2,500 students.[3]

Dr Daire Keogh of the history department was the 14th and last President of the college, taking over from Dr Pauric Travers, in September 2012.[4] Dr Travers had been the first lay president of the college, appointed in 1999. Previous presidents of the college have included Fr Peter Byrne CM (1883-1919)[5] when the vincentians came to the college, Fr Jerome Twomey CM (1942-1948), and Dr Donal Cregan CM (1957-1976).

Belvedere House[edit]

Notable buildings on the campus include Belvedere House which was built c.1660 by Sir Robert Booth, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland.

Residents of the house included:

The Congregation of Christian Brothers established a noviciate in the house prior to transferring to Coláiste Mhuire, Marino, in 1875, when they sold Belvedere House to Cardinal Cullen for £3,000 for the establishment of the College.

Faculty and Departments[edit]

The College was divided into two faculties, Education and Humanities. From the time of its affiliation to DCU in 1995 the College's offerings of Arts programmes in the Humanities was increased.

Faculty of Education[edit]

  • Education
  • Religious Studies and Education
  • Special Education
  • Bioscience
  • Human Development

Faculty of Humanities[edit]

  • English
  • Irish (Roinn na Gaeilge)
  • Mathematics
  • French
  • History
  • Geography
  • Music

Student Services and Students' Union[edit]

St Pat's provided a variety of student services such as career advice, access support, mature student support, medical and welfare services and an International Office.

The College also had a Students' Union which oversaw clubs such as GAA, rugby, soccer, and other pursuits, and societies for drama, St Vincent De Paul, the Choral Society, and more.

St Pat's Students' Union had two sabbatical positions;'President' and 'Vice President and Welfare' and seven non-sabbatical positions; Clubs & Socs Officer, Education Officer, Ents Officer, Equality Officer, Oifigeach na Gaeilge, International Officer and Women's Officer. In 2015, students voted to change the structure of the SU. The new SU for the academic year 2015/16 was led by two sabbatical positions; 'President' and 'Vice President Welfare and Ents' as well as seven non-sabbatical positions; Clubs Officer, Day Time Activities Officer, Education Officer, International Officer, Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Mature's Officer, and Societies Officer.[6]

Erins Hope[edit]

St Pat's were invited to enter the Dublin Senior Football Championship under the name Erins Hope. Erins Hope were Dublin football champions on four occasions in 1887, 1932, 1956 and 1978. In 2007 Erins Hope failed to field a team for the Dublin championship and had to withdraw from the tournament.


Famous alumni from the college included;

External links[edit]


  1. ^ St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, 1875-2000 :- A history, edited by James Kelly, Four Courts press
  2. ^ Speech by the Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern, T.D., at the signing of a new linkage agreement and revised linkage agreements between All Hallows College, St. Patrick's College, the Mater Dei Institute and the Governing Authority of Dublin City University on Monday, 4 February 2008 at 3.30pm[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Quinn announces €40m upgrade for St Pat’s teacher college 14 May 2012
  4. ^ St Patrick's names new president[permanent dead link] Irish Catholic, 12 May 2012.
  5. ^ Biographical Notes - Peter Byrne[permanent dead link] Colloque Vol 20, Vincentians Ireland.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)