St Conleth's College

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St. Conleth's College
Coláiste Naomh Conléad
28 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Coordinates53°19′40″N 6°14′27″W / 53.3279°N 6.2407°W / 53.3279; -6.2407Coordinates: 53°19′40″N 6°14′27″W / 53.3279°N 6.2407°W / 53.3279; -6.2407
MottoFide et Fortitudine
(Latin for 'faith and courage')
Established4 September 1939
PrincipalDonal Ó Dúlaing
Staff25 full-time teachers
Number of students400

St. Conleth's College is a private co-educational Catholic school founded on 4 September 1939 by Bernard Sheppard.[1]


The school was named after Conleth, a sixth-century Irish monk who was a moulder of precious metals and whose feast day is 4 May. The senior school has about 300 pupils and is co-educational. It has a teaching staff of 25. The junior school has about 160 pupils and is also co-educational. It has grown steadily since it opened and the school building at 28 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, is now significantly different from its original state.

The Millennium extension saw the addition of a half court school hall, canteen and additional classrooms as well as a computer lab and resurfacing of playing facilities. In 2009 the school underwent reconstruction again, resulting in an additional floor and re-modelling of the interior.

In November 2017, the Kevin Kelleher Wing was opened which added a performance room and study area on top of the gymnasium.


Kevin D. Kelleher (1921 - 2016),[2] former international rugby referee,[3] was the headmaster of the school for over 46 years.

Ann Sheppard (the daughter of Bernard Sheppard and step-daughter of Kevin Kelleher) was school principal from 1988–2001 and is now CEO of St. Conleth's.

Donal Ó Dúlaing is the principal of the Senior School.[4]

Angelina Hopkins is the deputy principal of the Senior School.

Tony Kilcommons is the principal of the Junior School.

Dolores Kelly is the head of Preparatory School (Junior Infants - 1st Form)


The school first topped the fee-paying schools league table in 2003.[5] However, due to its relatively small size some newspapers omit the school from league tables.[citation needed]

Subjects offered by the school for the Leaving Certificate include but are not limited to: maths, English, Irish, French, biology, chemistry, physics, business, economics, Spanish, geography, classical studies, Latin, history, applied mathematics and art.[citation needed]


Rugby is considered the primary sport of the school and both Junior and Senior Cup Team are represented in the Leinster Cups. Leinster Rugby did a focus on rugby in St. Conleth's in 2016 to recognise its successes that year.[6]

St. Conleth's won the Basketball Ireland National Cup and League double in 2009 at the U16 Boys B level. The school hasalso won several South Dublin Basketball League Championships, the most recent being the 2013 First Year (Minor) Championship. [7]

St. Conleth's have participated in fencing for decades and is available as a sport in the school for both boys and girls from a young age.[8] In June 2019, a past pupil, Philip Lee, became Ireland's first-ever European Champion in Fencing.[9]

Hockey is the latest sport to be played in St. Conleth's. The Minor Girls Hockey team played their first game on a full pitch in October 2018 and 5 months later they beat Loreto Beaufort in the final having seen off Dundalk Grammar in the semi final and Mount Anville in the quarter finals.[citation needed]


St. Conleth's debating tradition is recorded in the minutes of the school's Literary and Debating Society dating back to the 1940s.[citation needed] The 2000s saw St Conleth's win four Irish World's Schools representatives followed by victories in the Trinity College Schools Mace and the University College Dublin School's Mace.[citation needed] In 2010, St. Conleth's began hosting an annual Junior Mace Debating competition. In 2014 there were three Conlethians representing Team Ireland at the World Schools Debating Championship in Bangkok, Thailand.[10]

In 2019, St. Conleth's had two winners in the grand final of the Irish Times Debate with Kevin Roche (representing the Kings Inns) winning the individual competition and Daniel Gilligan (representing TCD Hist Society) won the team competition. Another past pupil, Conor White, was a losing finalist.[11]

Past pupils' union[edit]

St.Conleth's Past Pupils' Union[12] has been active for over 70 years and every year holds a dinner, a black tie event, at the school on the last Friday of February or the first Friday of March (depending on when the Irish rugby team do not have a fixture).


  1. ^ "Family of St Conleth's College founder attend Cloughjordan talk". Nenagh Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  2. ^ Kevin D. Kelleher (1921 - 2016)"Kevin Kelleher 1921-2016"
  3. ^ "Sonny Bill Williams becomes first All Black sent off for 50 years after shoulder charge on Lions' Anthony Watson". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Our School | St. Conleth's College". Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Revealed: top schools league table". Irish Independent. 17 August 2003. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  6. ^ "School in Focus: St. Conleth's College". Leinster Rugby. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Basketball | St. Conleth's College". Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  8. ^ "Fencing Pays! | St. Conleth's College". Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  9. ^ "The Golden Sword! | St. Conleth's College". Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  10. ^ "Is public debating a fate worse than death?". Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Trinity students top at The Irish Times Debate grand final". Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Alumni | St. Conleth's College". Retrieved 13 August 2021.

External links[edit]