St Killian's College

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St. Killian's College
Coláiste Naomh Cillian
County Antrim, BT44 0JS
Northern Ireland
Coordinates 55°02′35″N 5°58′05″W / 55.043°N 5.968°W / 55.043; -5.968Coordinates: 55°02′35″N 5°58′05″W / 55.043°N 5.968°W / 55.043; -5.968
Other name Garron Tower
Type All-ability, co-educational, 11-18 school
Motto Caritas et Veritas
(Love and Truth)
Head of school Mr Jonathan Brady
Colour(s) Blue and yellow          

St Killian's College (Irish: Coláiste Naomh Cillian, colloquially known as Garron Tower) is an all-ability co-educational school that was formed by the amalgamation of three schools in the Larne and Ballymena area: St MacNissi's College, Garron Tower, St Comgall's College, Larne, and St Aloysius High School, Cushendall.

St Killian's is currently operating from the former St MacNissi's College site at Garron Tower.

St Killian's College, site formerly known as St MacNissi's College, Garron Tower


Main building[edit]

The college has extensive grounds which stretch for a mile or so around the main building. This building contains the priests' dining-room, priests' sitting-room, 100 desk study-hall, kitchens, cloakrooms, first-aid room, classrooms, offices, and a food-storage area.


The chapel was completed in 1955 with the help of the late Fr Charles Agnew's "Mile of Half-Crowns". On the canopy above the High Altar are the words "Laudate Pueri Dominum" which translates as "Boys, Praise the Lord".

On one of the stained-glass windows that were installed in late 1956, the following words, in very small print, are to be found: "As I am making this window the Hungarians have risen in revolt against Communist/Russian rule in Hungary. October 1956."

Boarding rooms[edit]

A 150-room boarding department (now empty) was opened in 1956. Called St Mary's Residence, single rooms made up the majority of this building but at the front ends, there were double rooms, six in total, two on each floor, which were occupied by six of the college priests.

Original stables were the open dormitories of Ardclinis, Trostan and Knochore. On the level above the Ardclinis Dormitory were the rooms of three priests. These old stables now house Music, Languages and Business Studies classrooms. The building is known as St Joseph's.[citation needed]

Sports day, 2007

Sports facilities[edit]

The £1.6 million block for IT, home economics, art and science is situated on the site of the old tennis courts.

At the south end of the college grounds there is a wooded area in which the original owner's dog, Urisk, is buried. The headstone remains and on it is written:

"Here Urisk lies and let the truth be told, This faithful dog was blind, infirm and old. Deaf to all else his mistress' voice he knew, Blind though he was, his step to her was true. So strong an instinct by affection fed, Endured till Urisk's vital spirit fled. Stoop grandeur from thy throne ye sons of pride, To whom no want is known, nor wish denied. A moment pause, and blush, if blush you can, To find dogs more virtue than in man. And share, "midst all your luxury and pelf", One thought for others out of ten for self."

Beside the wooded area is a small golf course.

At the north end, there are four sports pitches and a set of Hand-Ball alleys (1 closed, 1 semi-closed and 1 open) all of which are the 60 x 40 type of alley.

Behind the squash courts, there is a new outdoor basketball court.

Architectural features[edit]

The seaward wall of the school has seven cannons facing the sea which are of naval origin from the Napoleonic wars.

Towards the northern end of the sea-wall, there was a gate, lending access to a twisting path down to the Coast Road but the end of this path, where it met the Coast Road, was out-of-bounds. Just across the road and about 50 yards to the north, the Garron Point Post Office was located and the journey between the gate at the Coast Road and the Post Office was fraught with danger.

About 400 yards north of the Post Office, at the bottom of Dunmaul Hill, is situated a "Water Driven" Pump House where in March 1956 a boarder at the college, Terry Fannin, lost his life.