St Michael's College, Dublin

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St Michael's College
Coláiste Naomh Mhíchíl

Coordinates53°19′12″N 6°13′00″W / 53.320076°N 6.216562°W / 53.320076; -6.216562Coordinates: 53°19′12″N 6°13′00″W / 53.320076°N 6.216562°W / 53.320076; -6.216562
MottoQuis ut deus
(Latin for 'Who is like unto God')
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Sister schoolBlackrock College, St. Mary's College, Rockwell College, Templeogue College
PrincipalTim Kelleher
Years offeredPrimary School and Secondary School
Colour(s)Sky blue, Navy   
Religious orderHoly Ghost Fathers
WebsiteOfficial website

St Michael's College (Irish: Coláiste Naomh Mícheál) is a voluntary Catholic boys' school, with an associated primary school, located on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4, Ireland. Founded in 1944 by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (The Spiritans) as a second feeder school along with Willow Park, it was initially a primary school to Blackrock College. The first eight pupils were transferred from Willow Park. The next September, 58 boys were enrolled. In 1952 the first secondary school pupils were admitted. Following expansion in the 1960s and 1970s, the school developed both a primary and secondary school. It has been extensively expanded, including the opening of a cafeteria, a sports pavilion, as well as new classrooms and a new gym.


The school is located on Dublin's Ailesbury Road

1950s and 1960s[edit]

In 1952–53 St. Michael's had its first boys go into First Year, which became the origin of the senior school, which contained just eight pupils that first year. By 1963, the school was growing. For the first time a second First Year class was created. In 1967–68, the school started constructing a new wing, which included the assembly hall and swimming pool. From 1944–68, St. Michael's had continued to be a junior school which had served as far as Second Year, but in 1968 it was decided that pupils would stay in St. Michael's until after the Intermediate Certificate (4th Year). In 1970–71, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid blessed and opened the new junior school and swimming pool. In December 1970, Seamus Galvin was appointed the first president (1970–1976), and this was the first time St Michael's officially became an independent school and community from Blackrock College.

1970s and 1980s[edit]

In 1972–73 the school started construction of the new library, classrooms and science rooms. In 1974–75 Archbishop Dermot Ryan opened the new buildings. In 1975, pupils from St. Michael's sat the Leaving Certificate for the first time. The following year, Cyril Sheedy became superior of St Michael's, Laurence McHugh was appointed principal of the junior school with Fr Flood[who?] appointed principal of the senior school.[citation needed]

In 1982 Aidan Lehane was appointed principal of the senior school until 1991. Seamus Galvin became the first president of the Past Pupils' Union in 1986.[citation needed] In 1991 while the Senior Cup team were defeated in the final against Clongowes, the Junior Cup team won the first title against Clongowes.[citation needed] The following year (1991–92), Willie Bradley was appointed principal of the senior school.[citation needed] Mairéad Burke was appointed principal of the junior school 1992–93. Lehane was appointed manager of St Michael's later that same year. In 1993–94, St Michael's celebrated its Golden Jubilee.[citation needed]

1990s and 2000s[edit]

Michael Duggan was appointed superior in 1995. In 1995–96 Mr. Len Howard was appointed Principal of the Senior School, with Mr. Noel Turley as Vice Principal and Fr. Lehane appointed as manager of the school. In 1997–98, Fr. Billy Cleary was appointed manager of the school. The start of the building of the new school began in 1998–99.

The following year Ms. Lorna Heslin was appointed Deputy Principal of the Junior School. In 2000–01 the new school building was opened. Fr. Pat Palmer dedicated the new college chapel, Cardinal Desmond Connell blessed the new building and President Mary McAleese visited the school. In 2001–02, Fr Bradley was appointed manager of the school. The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern visited the school. The Junior Cup team defeated Castleknock in the final for a second Junior Cup title. In 2001–02 Tim Kelleher was appointed principal of the senior school and Sheila Murray as deputy principal.[citation needed]

The following year, boards of management were set up for both the senior and junior schools. 2006–07 St Michael's won their first-ever Senior Cup and had a school record of 5 players playing for the Irish U-19s in the U-19s World Cup hosted in Belfast that summer.[2]


The school was ranked ninth in Ireland in terms of the number of students who progressed to third level and by the types of institutions to which the students progressed.[3]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Sports played include rugby, basketball and Gaelic sports.


The school has a strong rugby playing tradition, having won the Leinster Schools Junior Cup six times: in 1991, 2002, 2012, 2017, 2019 and 2022 in addition to reaching 6 JCT finals in a row up to 2012. In addition to the run of finals 2007-2012 the school has also finished runners up in the Leinster Schools Junior Cup in 1986, 2000 and 2016. The school has won the Leinster Schools Senior Cup three times first in 2007,[4] when Noel Reid kicked all six of the game's points, and again in 2012 when Dan Leavy captained the team beating Clongowes Wood College in the final.[5] In 2019 the school won the cup for the third time, beating Gonzaga College.[6]

In 2013, St Michael's reached the Senior Cup Final with captain Ross Molony but narrowly missed out on a second consecutive victory to Blackrock College. The school were runners-up in 1988, 1991, 2006 & 2010. The school participates in an U13s (now U14s) Cup rugby competition organised and played by Spiritian schools; Templeogue, St Mary's, Willow Park (Blackrock) and Rockwell colleges.

Blackrock v St Michael's 2006 Leinster Schools Senior Cup final at Lansdowne Road

In 2016 St Michael's has invested heavily in on site sporting facilities and has now astro-turf all weather training, astro-turf all-weather pitch and scrummaging areas, modern weights and a gym zone, in addition to a new sports pavilion housing modern changing facilities and showers.[7] In addition St Michael's has a number of rugby pitches and training areas located on its Dublin 4 campus. It also has a large indoor basketball/football/training arena and an 18-metre indoor swimming pool. St Michael's senior school fields 18-21 rugby teams annually from U-14s right through to U-19s; its junior school houses a rugby nursery for boys aged from 4–12 years.

Simon Keogh (class of 1998), was a member of Senior Schools Cup sides for three years up to 1998 when he also captained the first XV. He has played professional rugby for many seasons having played with Leinster (2000–03), Harlequins (UK; playing 133 times between 2003–09) and re-signing for Leinster in 2009 & 2010. He won a European Cup medal with Leinster in 2009 having won a European Shield medal with Quinns in 2004 where he scored the match winning try. Keogh has also represented Ireland at schools, u21, sevens and A levels. In 2011 he was a member of the Old Belvedere RFC 1st XV who won the All Ireland League Division 1 title.

Aidan Kearney (class of 1998 and member of the 1st XV that year), played a number of seasons professionally with Leinster (2003–04) and then Ulster. He represented Ireland at u19s and u21 levels winning an under 19 Rugby World Cup medal in 1998.[8]

As of 2020, St Michael's has more than 20 past-pupils playing professional rugby, across Ireland, the UK, France and the USA.

On 2 November 2020, a record nine St. Michael's graduates played in Leinster Rugby's Pro14 win against Glasgow Warriors in Scotstoun.[9] This record of nine players in the matchday 23 was equaled in a European Rugby Champions Cup match against Northampton Saints in December 2020.[10]

Former St. Michael's rugby coaches,[2] Greg McWilliams[11] and Mark McDermott[12][13] coached the USA Rugby and Russian national rugby team, respectively at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Rugby honours


The school provides teams for boys in first and second year, and has entered the Leinster GAA Schools competition since 2008. The junior school also enters the Cumann na mBunscol GAA league, and they won the shield in 2014.

Notable past pupils[edit]

The arts


Rugby union[17][20]


Notable teachers[edit]


  1. ^ "St Michael's conveyor belt showing no signs of slowing down".
  2. ^ a b "St Michael's in from cold Schools".
  3. ^ "High School ranks top in State, says new league table". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  4. ^ Cummiskey, Gavin. "St Michael's in from cold Schools". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Towering Leavy Michael's hero". independent. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  6. ^ "St Michael's flex their muscles and overpower Gonzaga". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  7. ^ "'Two or three per cent of each year go professional at the moment' - How one school has become Irish rugby's biggest production line". independent. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Ireland Under-19s Reunite 20 Years On From World Championship Success". Irish Rugby. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  9. ^ O'Sullivan, John. "Rhys Ruddock injury the only downside as Leinster continue Pro 14 run". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  10. ^ Doyle, Garry. "Ringrose returns for Leinster and Harry wins battle of the Byrne brothers". The42. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Greg McWilliams: The Irishman with a mission to make US rugby better".
  12. ^ "Russia coach McDermott aims to give Conway and Co another scare".
  13. ^ "From Russia with love – Meet the Irishman helping the Bears prepare for opening night -". Archived from the original on 22 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b "'Top student' tells of delight". independent. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  15. ^ Healy, Yvonne. "Robert Ballagh's school days set him against denominational education and marked his start in rock 'n' roll". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Thornley, Gerry. "St Michael's conveyor belt showing no signs of slowing down". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  18. ^ Butler, Eoin (6 April 2014). "Great Scott!". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  19. ^ Hand, Lise (18 April 2012). "Megaphone Barrett finally in with a shout". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  20. ^ "The long blue conveyor belt". herald. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  21. ^ a b c "St Michael's first rugby international". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  22. ^ "John Brendan Murray". ESPN scrum. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Former Ireland back Noel Reid signs two-year deal with Top 14 side Agen". independent. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Ryan to captain Ireland against England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  25. ^ Thornley, Gerry. "James Ryan captaincy was only ever a question of when, not if". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Irish Fly Half Cathal Marsh Signs with Rugby United New York". Rugby United NY. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  27. ^ Thornley, Gerry. "St Michael's conveyor belt showing no signs of slowing down". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d e f "Leinster Rugby 'A' team to face Munster 'A' named". Leinster Rugby. 17 December 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  29. ^ Kinsella, Murray. "Irish back row prospect Hickey set to sign for the Ospreys in Wales". The42. Retrieved 4 February 2021.

External links[edit]