Page semi-protected

Terenure College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Terenure College
Coláiste Thír An Iúir Duibhe
Terenure, Dublin 6W

Coordinates53°18′16″N 6°17′53″W / 53.3045°N 6.2981°W / 53.3045; -6.2981Coordinates: 53°18′16″N 6°17′53″W / 53.3045°N 6.2981°W / 53.3045; -6.2981
MottoZelo Zelatus Sum Pro Domino Deo Exercituum
(Latin for "I Am Filled With Zeal, For God, The King Of All Hosts")
PrincipalFr. Éanna Ó hÓbáin O.Carm[1]
Number of students1,000
Religious orderCarmelites

Terenure College is a Carmelite-run secondary school located in the suburb of Terenure, Dublin, Ireland. The school was founded in 1860 and had an associated primary school until 2017. It is one of the "big six" Leinster Schools Rugby-playing institutions, winning the Leinster Schools Senior Cup 10 times. 80% of the students who sat the Leaving Certificate in 2007 accepted a place in an Irish university.[2]


A view of Terenure House in 1837

Catholic Emancipation was granted in 1829 and the Carmelite order responded to the need for Catholic educators by establishing schools wherever they had friaries. By 1854 practically all Carmelite friaries had primary schools attached. In 1860, Terenure House opened as a college with twenty-one pupils on its roll. Between 1870 and 1890 the school was extended to the current main block which house the fifth and sixth year classrooms, and which also include an original stone staircase of the era, but the original clocktower has since been removed due to safety concerns.[citation needed]

Terenure College

In the 1940s the college identified a need for a new school space, and the so-called "Crush Hall" and concert hall were added to the school, as well as a new Junior School block above the hall. Initially the concert hall was used for both cultural and sporting activities, most notably the College Play, which came to include girls from Our Lady's School, across the road. Since the construction of the 1980s block and the sports hall, the concert hall has been used exclusively for formal and artistic events, such as the school "Debs", plays, concerts and art fairs. The modern school theatre was opened by the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins in 2013, named in honour of past pupil Donal McCann.[3]

In 2015 it was announced that the Junior School would close after enrollment halved from 2009, and current classes were phased out, with the last class finishing in 2017.[4]

Historical account

In 2009 a book on the history of the school was published. Entitled "Terenure College 1860-2010: A History," it was compiled by Prof. Fergus D'Arcy, and launched by Taoiseach Brian Cowen.[5]


Originally built by the Deane family, Terenure House had later passed to the family of George Bernard Shaw, and finally the Bourne family. Nearby was a second house, also owned, by the Shaws, which is now home to Our Lady's School.[6]

The estate holds a lake, and is connected to three rivers. There is an artificial branch watercourse from the River Poddle to the western end of the lake, a culverted outflow, the Olney Stream, to the Swan River system, and a tunnel carries the Lakelands Overflow from the lake to pass under a housing estate, and into Bushy Park, before falling into the River Dodder.[7]

The school has a range of sports facilities, including a swimming pool which offers some public access hours.

Colours and motto

The colours of the school are purple and black, and its motto is Zelo Zelatus Sum Pro Domino Deo Exercituum (Latin for "I Am Filled With Zeal, For God, The King Of All Hosts").

Extra-curricular activities

The school operates a range of sport and non-sport programmes, which it calls "co-curricular" activities:


Rugby has been the leading sport at Terenure College since around 1920.[5] It has had a prolific history in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup, with ten wins to date.[citation needed] Terenure reached both finals of the 2009 Leinster Schools Senior Cup and the Leinster Schools Junior Cup. The school lost out on the former to Blackrock College, 18-9, but won the latter against St Michael's College, Dublin. The school also earned the Powerade Leinster Rugby School of the Year accolade for the school's overall rugby performance.

Terenure College RFC

Associated with the school is Terenure College RFC, which plays at a senior national level, from a base near the school, and includes past pupils of the school.[8]

College Run

Terenure College in foreground with Templeogue and Kimmage in background

Moate's Carmelite College first held a college run in 1987. Every student in the school participated and the final, which included the fastest runners in the college, was a very competitive event. This became an annual event and a police escort was given for the runners as they made their way through the town, and students lined the route to encourage and cheer on their classmates.

The Terenure College Charity Run was a started as a way to remember a former student and teacher in the school named Fr. Gerry Hipwell O.Carm and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the President’s Award, in which he helped many students to participate. The semi-final including the fastest 2 students in each year and the 15 fastest in the school is held during the first week in May. The fastest 10 students compete in the final and the winner receives the Fr. Gerry Hipwell Memorial Cup.

Gaelic games

The school is also active in the GAA, having joined in 1885.[5]


The school has its own swimming pool and competes in watersports.

Other sports

The school is also active in badminton, tennis, cricket, athletics, golf and other sports, in some of which it has won several regional and national competitions.

Science and technology

The school has a number of supplementary science and information technology programmes. It participates actively in the Young Scientist awards, which were founded by a past staff member and a past pupil, with a pupil, Shane Curran, the overall national winner in 2017.[9][10]

Culture and debate

The college has a strong history of drama,[11] with former pupils, such as Dave Allen, Donal McCann and Michael McElhatton, working in the area,[12] and all years are encouraged to participate in drama, including the senior college play, which is conducted with Our Lady's Girls School each year.

Other activities include an Amnesty International group[13] a Young Toastmasters unit,[14][15] and debating, competing in the Leinster Schools Debating and other regional and national competitions.[16]

Model United Nations

Terenure College have a very strong background in Model United Nations. They have taken part in the St. Andrew's International Model United Nations (SAIMUN) in Dublin[17] and the Royal Russel School Model United Nations (RRSMUN) in Croydon.[18]


Past Pupil's Union

The school has an active Past Pupil's Union, which runs a number of social events each year, raises funds for school initiatives, and provides a scholarship program. The union has an office in the school, and a secretary.[19]

Past Pupil of the Year Award

The school presents an award to recognise high-achieving past pupils, recipients of which have included Girvan Dempsey, Donal McCann, Niall Hogan, Mike Murphy and Lorcan Cranitch.[20]

Irish rugby internationals (school or Terenure College RFC)

Other notable alumni


Sexual Abuse

Former teacher and first-year form master John McClean was convicted in November 2020 of sexually assaulting 23 students in the school between 1973 and 1990.[27] According to victim statements, numerous complaints were made to the school during this time, but were either disbelieved or ignored by the school principal.[28] He was jailed for 8 years in February 2021.[29]


  1. ^ "Introduction". Terenure College. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  2. ^ Rathfarnham Community website,; accessed 5 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Remarks at The Donal McCann Theatre". Office of the President of Ireland. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  4. ^ Junior School to close at Terenue College,; accessed 5 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Carroll, Stephen (26 November 2009). "Terenure College: book explores 150 years of school's history". Irish Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  6. ^ Kent, Brad (2015). George Bernard Shaw in Context. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781316432167. the two largest estates, Terenure House and then Bushy Park (now Terenure College and Our Lady's College) had both been owned by the Shaw family
  7. ^ Doyle, Joseph W. (September 2013). Ten Dozen Waters: The Rivers and Streams of County Dublin (8th ed.). Dublin, Ireland: Rath Eanna Research. pp. 40, 55. ISBN 9780956636379.
  8. ^ O'Reilly, Patrick (2013). RALA: A Life in Rugby (1st ed.). Dublin, Ireland: Hachette Books Ireland. pp. 21–22. ISBN 9781444743333. I made the short journey from the school pitches across the far side of the lake to Lakelands, home of Terenure College RFC... undertaken alongside many of the boys who I had started playing with...
  9. ^ a b Ahlstrom, Dick (14 January 2017). "Student wins top science prize for developing system to keep sensitive data secure". Irish Times. Retrieved 28 May 2020. Shane Curran ... Terenure College ... fourth he has brought ...
  10. ^ a b "Future Science and Young Scientists Exhibition". Terenure College. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  11. ^ "School play, Terenure College, c. 1930". South Dublin County Libraries - Source. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  12. ^ a b Flynn, Roddy, Tracy, Tony (2019). Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema (2nd ed.). Rowman and Littlefield. p. 390. ISBN 9781538119587. McElhatton's first forays ... Terenure College, a secondary school with an established track record in encouraging the thespian arts (other alumni... Donal McCann)
  13. ^ "Students join Amnesty volunteers and staff carol singing and raising money to support the work of Amnesty, on International Human Rights Day". Amnesty International in Ireland - official. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Eva Coffey". Knocklyon News. May 1998. ... found a Young Toastmasters' Group in Terenure College, which is still flourishing ...
  15. ^ "Toastmasters". Terenure College. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Debating". Terenure College. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  17. ^ "What is MUN all about?". St Andrew's School, Dublin. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  18. ^ "MUN". Terenure College. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  19. ^ "About us". Terenure College Past Pupils Union. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  20. ^ a b c O'Reilly, Patrick (2013). RALA: A Life in Rugby (1st ed.). Dublin, Ireland: Hachette Books Ireland. ISBN 9781444743333.
  21. ^ "Old Dogs and New Tricks (Mike Hipwell section)". Magill (magazine). 30 January 1981. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Conor O'Shea". BSM Group. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  23. ^ Goldman, Lawrence, ed. (2013). "Allen, Dave (David Edward John Archer Cullen Tynan-O'Mahony)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008 (1st ed.). Oxford & London: Oxford University Press. pp. 14–15. ISBN 9780199671540.
  24. ^ Dixon, Carl (21 May 2012). "College boy with success in his sights". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Charity founder's fall from grace". The Irish Times. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  26. ^ Flynn, Roddy, Tracy, Tony (2019). Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema (2nd ed.). Rowman and Littlefield. pp. 385–386. ISBN 9781538119587.
  27. ^ "Former rugby coach and teacher at Terenure College pleads guilty". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  28. ^ "Former Terenure College teacher abused boys in office, class, during sport and before plays". RTÉ. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Retired teacher jailed for 8 years for abuse of boys". Retrieved 18 February 2021.

External links