Waterpark College

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Waterpark College
Waterpark college official crest.jpg
Type Mixed Secondary
Motto Virtus Sola Nobilitat
'Virtue Alone Enobles'
Established 1892
Founder Congregation of Christian Brothers
Headmaster Mr Thomas A. Beecher
Chaplain Fr. Paul Murphy
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Red, Black and Purple
Affiliations Roman Catholic Congregation of Christian Brothers
Vice-Principal Mr. Joe Hagan
Main Sports Rugby. Soccer. Athletics. Basketball. Gaelic Football. Hurling. Badminton. Tennis

Waterpark College is a secondary school in the city of Waterford, Ireland. The school was established in 1892 on the banks of the River Suir as Waterford's first Classical school, and still provides a secondary education to boys from Waterford City, County and the surrounding area. Its principal, Thomas A. Beecher, has held his position since 1990.


Waterpark College was founded in 1892 by the Christian Brothers as a Christian Brothers College akin to CBC and PBC in Cork and as Waterford's first Classical school. In 1986 Waterpark College received its first lay principal, Maurice O'Connor. This was the first time that an Irish Christian Brothers school had a lay principal. Dr. O'Connor introduced a co-educational sixth year to Waterpark where girls could join the college to repeat Leaving Cert year. The co-educational sixth year was later discontinued due to policy changes. Principal O'Connor also introduced a Transition Year programme to the college which continues to operate. He also established a Transition Year exchange with various schools in Spain which continued to operate until 2007. In 2008 the exchange was replaced with an annual Transition Year trip to Madrid. in 1990 Dr. O'Connor resigned his post as principal in order to work in the oil industry in Saudi Arabia for a period. He later returned to the college to resume his teaching duties as head of sciences until he officially retired in 2008.[1] The current principal Thomas A. Beecher assumed his position in 1990 upon the departure of Dr. O'Connor after having taught Geography and History in Waterpark College. In February 1999 the Foundation stone of the schools extension was laid by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Mr Ahern also officially opened the modern extension in 2002. The extension includes nine classrooms, a double length lecture hall, two science labs, a science tutorial room (known as "the demo-room"), a library and a dedicated technology room. The work also involved the housing of a computer room and a language lab in the old building while the classrooms on the ground floor of the old building were converted into a G.P. room. A modern gym was also built at the south end of the rugby pitch. The original school and the new extension are connected by a glass link corridor.


The science lab at Waterpark in 1900.

Each year is divided into two classes, L and R. The classes are called so as traditionally first year classes were based in the classrooms to the left (L) and the right (R) of the main entrance of the old building. The boys are assigned to their class based on the results of an entrance exam held in the year prior to the boys admittance. The boys remain in their stream from first year until the classes are split up for Transition Year or 5th Year. Traditionally L are the top stream of pupils made up of those with the highest results from the entrance exams. All years except T.Y. are streamed as T.Y. is a limited program (limited to 24 pupils) where numbers don't allow for more than one class. A class is referred to by a number, representing the year the boy is in and a letter, representing their stream. e.g. third year, top stream is written as 3L. In the academic year 2006/2007 the classes were renamed where R became A while L become AL (for alpha). In recent years, classes are no longer streamed coming in, but they A and AL designations were kept. Since the year 2012 when the school became co-educational, the class designations changed to .1, .2, and .3 (for example there is three first year classes 1.1, 1.2, 1.3).


Waterpark College has maintained a strong academic tradition since its establishment. It currently offers twelve subjects to Junior Cert. level (Art, Business, C.S.P.E., English, French, Geography, German, History, Irish, Maths, Science, Technology,S.P.H.E, P.E (all rugby) and fourteen subjects at Leaving Cert. level (Accounting, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English, French, Geography, German, History, Irish, Maths, Physics). Waterpark students are facilitated in the study of outside subjects with Leaving Cert students studying Classical Studies, Applied Math and Music privately. International students are encouraged to sit the Leaving Cert paper in their native language. Waterpark students have performed consistently well in certificate exams with around 87% of students continuing on to third level education placing Waterpark as the top performing boys school in Waterford City and County in the academic years '06, '07 and '08 according to the Irish Times. Waterpark has consistently produced high achieving debating teams since the 1940s. Waterpark also competes in public speaking, competitive quizzes and frequently send delegates to European Youth Parliament Munster and National conferences. Waterpark College finished third in the 2008/2009 "Know your World" quiz, a national table quiz hosted by Concern. Waterpark students represent Ireland academically in various fields, providing science and maths olympiads in recent years. The Irish 2008-2010 United World Colleges scholarship was awarded to a Waterpark student.[2]


College rugby is tied to the local junior club Waterpark RFC since the club's foundation in 1925 in nearby Ballinakill, Waterford. The College achieved its greatest rugby accolade to date in 1964 when it reached the Munster A Schools final but was beaten by Presentation Brothers College Cork. All Waterpark boys are encouraged to take part in rugby within the college.[citation needed]

Other sports[edit]

The primary sport at Waterpark College is rugby but the College also competes in badminton and track and field athletics. The College hosts an annual Junior Tag Rugby tournament where teams from schools in the city are invited to participate. The College also field teams in GAA and Association football.


The current official uniform is:[3]

  • Grey Trousers
  • Grey v-neck jumper with Waterpark Crest

` Black blazer with Waterpark Crest

  • White Shirt (This was grey in the 80's and early 90's)
  • Waterpark Tie
  • Black Shoes


  • Br. Collins (?-?)
  • Br.John Wenceslas Gibson (?-?)
  • Br. Thomas Dunstan Breathnach(?-?)
  • Br. Patrick Sylvester Gravin (?-?)
  • Br. Michael Pius Kavanagh (1984-1987)
  • Dr. Maurice O' Connor (1987–1990)
  • Mr. Thomas A. Beecher (1990–present)

Notable alumni[edit]


The College is situated on the junction of Park road and Newtown road. it lies between the Nineteenth Century Peoples Park and the banks of the river Suir. The colleges name derives from its location, "Water" in reference to the river Suir which banks the school games-field and "Park" in reference to the Peoples Park. Waterpark is located on R683

Associated Primary Schools[edit]

Waterpark National School is the official feeder school for Waterpark College. It formerly existed as Waterpark Junior School, a private, fee-paying, primary school which was originally sited in the main grounds of the college before relocating on the Dunmore road in 1969. The school was once again relocated in the 1980s to the building which was formerly used as a monastery by the Christian Brothers on the grounds of Waterpark College. When Waterpark Junior School closed in May 2001 a new National School was established on the same site. Waterpark National School, under the patronage of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, first opened its doors in September 2001. The school caters for boys and girls and has an enrollment of over 230 pupils. The Waterpark site has now been officially split into two sites, one for the College and the other for the National School. Waterpark National School is situated at the north end of the college rugby grounds.