St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon

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Coordinates: 54°30′29″N 6°45′29″W / 54.508°N 6.758°W / 54.508; -6.758

St. Patrick's Academy
Acadamh Naomh Pádraig
St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon crest.jpg
Motto Ille Docebit Vos Omnia
Religion Catholic
Headteacher Mr F Donnelly (2010–present)
Deputy Headteacher Mrs M McMahon, Mrs M O'Neill, Mr J Donnelly
Founder 1891 Roman Catholic Clergy
Location Killymeal Road
Co. Tyrone
BT71 6DS
Northern Ireland
Staff 129
Students 1893 (172,500 alumni)
Gender Mixed
Ages 11–18
Colours Red and White (Gaelic Football Team) and Pale Blue and Navy (Camogie)

Saint Patrick's Academy (Irish: Acadamh Naomh Pádraig) is a voluntary grammar school located in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It formed on 1 September 2003 when the two single-sex Saint Patrick's Academies, which coexisted on the same site as two distinct and separate institutions, were merged as one. In January 2013 the Education Minister John O'Dowd announced the school was one of 22 schools to get a new build project.


Founded in 1891, St. Patrick's Academy was, for its first three years, a boys' school. From September 1894, the Sisters of Mercy undertook the teaching of students in preparation for the Intermediate board's examination. The Girls' Academy was based in a single room in the newly built Mercy Convent on Northland Row.

Both schools moved to new premises on Killyman Road in September 1901; the Academy building was to be the home of the school for the next seventy years. The Boys' Academy was always led by the clergymen appointed by the Tyrone Roman Catholic Board of Education, while the Girls' Academy was led by a senior member of the Sisters of Mercy.

The Academy eventually outgrew its home on the Killyman Road. In 1975, the two schools moved to a new building on the Killymeal Road. Although housed in the same building, the Boys' Academy and Girls' Academy were two distinct and separate institutions. The phenomenal growth in the student numbers has resulted in the formal amalgamation of the Boys' and Girls' Academies with effect from 2003. This amalgamation was greatly encouraged by the then N.I. Minister of Education, Martin McGuinness.

As of 2007, the co-educational Academy and its some 1893 students are housed in one main building and a number of separate mobile structures belonging to the former Saint Patrick's Boys' and Saint Patrick's Girls' Academies. Saint Patrick's Academy's present grounds are to be demolished and a new school is to be built on the playing fields behind it. Saint Patrick's College, Dungannon currently has its new school built beside Saint Patrick's Academy, facilitating the sharing of some amenities.

Academic success[edit]

The school celebrated exceptional public examination results in August 2008, following the publication of the Summer 2008 examination results with 14 students attaining grade A in four subjects at A-Level and a further 34 students attaining grade A in three subjects at A-Level. This was followed a week later with the publication of GCSE results; a combined total of 43 students attained grade A* in nine or more subjects, with 21 in ten or more subjects and one in eleven subjects. St. Patrick's Academy also holds the top place in the United Kingdom in both GCSE Irish, and A-Level Computing for the fifth successive year taught by Mr Owen Gribbin.

In 2008, St Patrick's Academy students were amongst the top ten students both at AS and A level according to Edexcel, the UK's largest awarding body. Jerry Jarvis, Edexcel's managing director, said: “This is a tremendous achievement and testament to the hard work students put into preparing for their exams. We send our congratulations to them.”

Sporting success[edit]

Together with examination success, Saint Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, has a tradition of sporting success, winning trophies and cups at various levels in Gaelic football, soccer, ladies Gaelic football, basketball, netball, hurling and camogie.[citation needed] In St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, 2008, was the first school in the island of Ireland to have won the MacRory and Hogan Cups and have representatives on the winning All-Ireland Senior and Minor Tyrone Gaelic Football teams. The school again won the Macrory Cup in 2009. Their first success in the history of the MacRory cup came in possibly the most memorable win for the school against the Mighty St. Colmans Newry (many of whom have won All-Ireland senior medals) in 1991 against all odds on a scoreline of 2–7 to 1–9. The Academy also was at the forefront of basketball in Ulster and Ireland during the late 1980s and 1990s, winning many Ulster titles and having many Irish international players and Ulster rep players, many of whom won Ulster medals in 1991 in both GAA and basketball.

People Associated with St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon[edit]

Monsignor Denis Faul taught at the academy and served as principal from 1983 until 1998. The late Michaela McAreavey daughter of Mickey Harte taught Irish at St. Patrick's. Singer Andrea Begley, who won the second series of The Voice UK, is a past pupil of the school as is the Les Misérables actor Fra Fee. Diarmuid Corr [Writer & Stand up Comedian] was also a pupil from 1989 to 1994.

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