St Mac Dara's Community College

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St MacDara's Community College
Coláiste Pobail MhicDara Naofa
St Mac Dara Communitatis Collegii
Templeogue, Dublin 6W
Coordinates 58°18′N 6°11′W / 58.300°N 6.183°W / 58.300; -6.183Coordinates: 58°18′N 6°11′W / 58.300°N 6.183°W / 58.300; -6.183
Motto Ar Aghaidh
Religious affiliation(s) Multidenominational school
Established 1982
Principal Paul Kingston, formerly Sean Ryan
Staff 60
Years offered 6
Gender mixed-sex
Age 12 to 18
Number of students 900
Colour(s) Grey and blue

St. MacDara's Community College (Irish: Coláiste Pobail MhicDara Naofa) is a secondary school situated on Wellington Lane, Templeogue in South Dublin. It accommodates both Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students. It is run by the County Dublin Vocational Education Committee (C.D.V.E.C) and is a non-fee paying school. It has a Transition Year program which is usually restricted to one class, with a maximum of 30 students per year. The school has a selection of sports and extra curricular activities including Gaelic Football, Hurling, Soccer, Rugby, Basketball, Golf and Canoeing. St. Mac Dara's made history in 2012 by winning both the Dublin and Leinster Senior Football Championships. There is nearly 1000 students in the school. The classes are named after Irish place names such as Ardagh, Dublin and Cashel.

St. Mac Dara's Community College was named sixth best secondary school in Ireland, and best public secondary school, in the Irish Times League Table of August 2009.[1]

School trips[edit]

The school regularly hosts trips and foreign exchange programs to different countries.

Past trips have included France, Scotland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and ski trips to Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, and New Hampshire, United States.

The school has an annual Celtic trip, which is organised by Irish teacher Mr. Alan Curran. Students and teachers travel to Scotland to see Celtic F.C. play and meet the team.


St. Mac Dara's Community College has a proud tradition of charity fundraising, and the college has been noted for its contributions to the Irish charity Trócaire (around €60,000 per year). In 2010, the school raised more money than any other school in Ireland for Trócaire for the 10th year in a row. Annual fundraising activities undertaken by the college's students include a sponsored 24-hour fast, a table quiz, and a soccer marathon.

A group of students traveled to Honduras/Nicaragua in 2005 as part of a charity project.

One of St. Mac Dara's Art rooms


St Mac Dara's enjoys numerous facilities such as four science laboratories, three Home Economics classrooms with essential appliances, two art classrooms, two woodwork classrooms, two engineering classrooms, two technical graphics rooms and over 40 classrooms. The two computer classrooms contain over 30 broadband-enabled computers. St. Mac Dara's separate P.E. hall and gymnasium on the school grounds is equipped with shower rooms and a full gym.

In 2010, St. Mac Dara's was chosen as one of 100 schools to be part of the Government's 100mbits Broadband Initiative. Every classroom was fitted with a smartboard, projector and a 100Mbit/s broadband enabled laptop.

Organisations within the college[edit]

The College has many organizations and societies including a Student Council, History Society, choir, orchestra and a Gaeilge society. The college's Amnesty International Group is run by Mr. Shane Culleton, and promotes the campaigns of Amnesty International. The group organise an annual Fair Trade Fair where fair trade products are sold, and various other fundraisers throughout the year. St. Mac Dara's presents a musical in the college every year. On 10 March 2009, the St. Mac Dara's choir participated in the V.E.C Festival of Music.

Involvement in Film[edit]

In October 2006, St. Mac Dara's was used to shoot a scene in the film Assault of Darkness,[2] starring Vinnie Jones. Some of the 4th and 5th year students were used as extras in the scene, which was filmed in one of the science rooms.

25th Year Anniversary celebrations[edit]

2007/2008 was the 25th year of the college's existence. Celebration events included a school magazine and the musical production 'Carmen'.

The Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin visited the school on 5 March 2008 as the guest of honour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the school. The occasion was celebrated by invited teachers, staff, parents and students.

St. Mac Dara's Political Awareness Week[edit]

St. Mac Dara's held two Political Awareness Weeks in 2009, attended by numerous senior politicians and party leaders. The Political Awareness Week from 9 to 13 March 2009 incorporated a trip to Dáil Éireann, and debates chaired by RTÉ Six One News Anchor Bryan Dobson and Newstalk 106 broadcaster George Hook. From 5 to 9 October 2009, St. Mac Dara's Community College held its second Political Awareness Week, incorporating a trip to RTÉ to attend current affairs programme, The Frontline hosted by Pat Kenny; a fundraising "Rag Day"; a trip to Dáil Éireann, and "The Leaders Debate", attended by many of Ireland's senior politicians and party leaders.


Staff include Principal Mr. Kingston, Vice Principal Mr. Donnelly, priest Father Michael Foley, and year heads Mr Garry, Mr Cassidy, Mr Moriarty, Mr Cosgrave and Mr Finucane. Some teachers were students in the school itself. Teachers such as Irish teacher Mr Curran and music teacher Ms Butler have appeared on national television. Some teachers such as religion teacher Ms Corr and P.E. teacher Mr Carey have written their student's textbooks.

List of notable alumni[edit]