St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School, Belfast

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St. Mary's Christian Brothers Grammar School
Established 1866
Type Grammar School
Religion Roman Catholic
Principal Mr. John Martin
Location Belfast
Northern Ireland
Local authority Belfast Education and Library Board
Students 1196
Gender All-Male
Ages 11–18
Website St. Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School

St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School (St Mary's CGBS) (Irish: Scoil Ghramadaí Mhuire na mBráithre Críostaí) is a Roman Catholic boys' grammar school in Belfast, Northern Ireland


The school was founded by the Irish Christian Brothers in 1866. The original school was on Divis St in the lower Falls Road area of Belfast. In 1929, a new secondary school was built in the nearby Barrack Street. The students were largely drawn from the surrounding district but due to the growing population further up the Falls Road it was decided to build a new school at the top of the Glen Road which opened in 1968. The Barrack Street branch remained in use until 1998 when all students were accommodated in the greatly extended school on the Glen Road.[1]

The school was once entirely run by the Irish Christian Brothers but in the late twentieth century their numbers declined. The school is now entirely staffed by lay teachers. It is now under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (NI).[2] The current principal of the school is John Martin who took up his position in November 2014 upon the retirement of Jim Sheerin, who had been principal from 2008.



The school provides instruction in a broad range of academic subjects. At the advanced level students are prepared for exams in Applied Business, Business Communication Systems, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, ICT, Computing, Art & Design, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Politics, English Literature, Drama, Irish, Music, Sports Studies, Media Studies, Home Economics, Travel and Leisure. St Mary's also offer a double award science option and a further maths option which pupils are chosen for.


Gaelic Games[edit]

The school hurling team won six Mageean Cup titles in succession in the 1990s. St. Marys also completed an Ulster Colleges double in 2008 winning both the Mageean Cup and the McLarnon Cup for the first time in the school's history after beating St Columbs (Derry) 1-7 to 0-8 in the final at Healy Park in Omagh on St Patrick's Day. The school has also had sustained success in handball and Gaelic football.


Since the lifting of the ban on school representation in soccer competitions in 2002 the school has become the most successful in Belfast. On St Patrick's Day 2006 at Lisburn Distillery's grounds the Year 12s won its first ever soccer cup, the Belfast Cup, defeating Boys Model School. They followed up the next year with its first NI Cup in 2007 (Year 12) as well as the 2007 Belfast Cup (Year 11).

This success was followed up in 2008 as they won the year 9 Belfast Cup as well as an historic double in lifting both the Carnegie Schools Northern Ireland Cup (Year 13/14) and became the first school in 20 years to retain the Malcolm Brodie northern Ireland Trophy (year 12) with a victory over St Columbs, Derry. The winning tradition continues into the last year of the decade with wins in the NI Cup and Belfast Cup for the U14s and the U15s winning the Belfast cup.

Water polo[edit]

It is the only school in Ireland to have a clean sweep of All-Ireland titles at all age groups in consecutive years. A 9th Canada Cup in a row was won in April 2009 with several of the team continuing to represent Ireland at international tournaments.

Other sports[edit]

The school also competes in inter-schools competition in trampoline, athletics, golf, and basketball.[3]

Clubs and Societies[edit]


The school runs debating societies in English, Irish and Spanish, and has sent delegates representing Ireland to both the European Youth Parliament and European Youth Commission.

The school has excelled in the European and Irish News inter-school quizzes, currently holding both trophies. The school debating team won the Northern Ireland Schools Debating Championship in 2008, defeating the team from Antrim Grammar School in the final at Stormont. This is the only time St Mary's has won the competition.


The school maintains an orchestra and a recording studio, stages theatrical and musical performances, as well as entering students in art competitions.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ About the School,; accessed 2 November 2016.
  2. ^ Glen Road; accessed 5 October 2015.
  3. ^ Sport section, official website; accessed 3 July 2015.

External links[edit]