St Michael's College, Dublin

St Michael's College (Irish: Coláiste Naomh Míchéal) is a Catholic boys' school, located on Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4, Ireland. It was founded in 1944 by the Holy Ghost Fathers.

St Michael's College was founded in 1944 by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (The Spiritans) as a second feeder school with Willow Park and initially was just a primary school to Blackrock College. The first eight students were transferred from Willow Park. The next September, 58 students were enrolled. In 1952 the first secondary school students were admitted. Following expansion in the 1960s and 1970s, the school now has both a primary and secondary school. It has been extensively expanded, including the opening of a cafeteria and a sports pavilion, as well as new classrooms and a new chapel.


St Michael's College, Dublin

1950s and 1960s

In 1952â€"53 St Michael's had its first students go into first year, which became the origin of the senior school, which contained just eight students that first year. By 1963 St. Michael's was growing and so for the first time a second first year class was created. In 1967â€"68, the school started constructing a new wing, which included the assembly hall and swimming pool. From 1944â€"1968 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 1970â€"71 Archbishop John Charles McQuaid blessed and opened the new Junior School and swimming pool. In December 1970, Fr. Seamus Galvin was appointed the first President (1970â€"1976), and this was the first time St. Michael's officially became an independent school and community from Blackrock College.

The 1970s

In 1972â€"73 the school started construction of the new library, classrooms and science rooms. In 1974â€"75 Archbishop Ryan opened the new buildings. In 1975, pupils from St. Michael's sat the Leaving Certificate for the first time. The following year, Fr. Cyril Sheedy became Superior of St. Michael's, Fr. Laurence McHugh was appointed Principal of the Junior School with Fr. Alo Flood being appointed Principal of the Senior School.

Recent history

In 1982 Fr. Aidan Lehane was appointed Principal of the Senior School until 1991. Fr. Seamus Galvin became the 1st President of the Past Pupils' Union in 1986. In 1991 while the Senior Cup Team were defeated in the final against Clongowes, the Junior Cup Team won the first title against Clongowes. The following year in 1991â€"92 Fr. Willie Bradley was appointed Principal of the Senior School. Ms. Mairéad Burke was appointed Principal of the Junior School 1992â€"93. Fr. Aidan Lehane was appointed manager of St. Michael's later that same year. In 1993â€"94 St. Michael's celebrated its Golden Jubilee. Fr. Michael Duggan was appointed Superior in 1995. In 1995â€"96 Mr Len Howard was appointed Principal of the Senior School, with Mr Noel Turley as Vice Principal and Fr Aidan Lehane appointed as manager of the school. In 1997â€"98 Fr Billy Cleary was appointed manager of the school. The start of the building of the new school began in 1998â€"99. The following year Ms. Lorna Heslin was appointed Deputy Principal of the Junior School. In 2000â€"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. 2001â€"02 Willie 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. 2001â€"02. Mr Tim Kelleher was appointed Principal of the Senior School and Mrs Shelia Murray the Deputy Principal. The following year, Boards of Managements were set up for both the Senior and Junior Schools. 2006â€"07 St.Michael's won their first ever Senior Cup and had a school record of 5 players playing for the Irish U-18s in the U-18s World Cup hosted in Belfast that summer. These included their captain Conor Cleary, winger Paddy Brophy, Ian Leonard, the No 8 Patrick Mallon and Reilly.

Extra-curricular activities

St Michael's College, Dublin


The school has a strong rugby playing tradition, having won the Leinster Schools Junior Cup three times: in 1991, 2002 and 2012 in addition to reaching 6 JCT finals in a row up to 2012. The school has won the Leinster Schools Senior Cup twice - In 2007, where Conor Cleary was captain, and again in 2012 beating Clongowes Wood College in the Final, where Dan Leavy captained the side. 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. St Michael's also participates in an U13s Cup rugby competition organised and played by Holy Ghost Schools, Templeogue College, St. Mary's College, Willow Park, Blackrock College and Rockwell College.

In recent years St Michaels has invested heavily in on site sporting facilities and has now astro turf all weather training and scrummaging areas, modern weights and gym zone in addition to a new sports pavilion housing modern changing facilities and showers etc. In addition st michaels has a number of rugby pitches and training areas located on its d4 campus. It also has a large indoor basketball/ football/ training arena and a 18m indoor swimming pool. St Michaels senior school fields rugby teams from u13 right through to u18s. Its junior school houses a rugby nursery for boys aged from 4 â€" 12 years.

Simon Keogh, past pupil from the class of 1998, was a member of Senior 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 ( 2000â€"2003 ), Harlequins (UK)( playing 133 times between 2003â€"2009 ) 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. Simon 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, also class of 1998 and member of the 1st XV in that year, played a number of seasons professionally with Leinster ( 2003 & 2004 ) and then Ulster. Aidan represented Ireland at u19s and u21 levels winning an u19 world cup medal in 1998 with fellow team members and current Irish internationals Brian O Driscoll, Donnacha O Callaghan and Paddy Wallace among others. Aidan has played AIL rugby with Dungannon and Suttonians, his home and local club. Aidan is a strong supporter of underage rugby and currently coaches the Suttonians RFC u20 side.

Keith Gleeson attended the St Michael's junior school before moving to Australia with his family. He later went on to represent Australia at schools, u19s, 21s and sevens levels. He was also a member of the NSW Waratahs professional side for a number of seasons. He then moved back to Ireland to play for Leinster which he also captained a number of times. Keith won 27 senior caps for Ireland and played in the 2003 RWC. He reitred in 2007.

In recent years Luke McGrath & Noel Reid have been awarded Leinster academy contracts. Past pupil and current secondary school teacher in St Michael's, Greg McWilliams ( class of 1996 ) is currently a coach of the Leinster Under 19 side, and skills coach to the Irish Women's side . Past pupil and former teacher in St Michael's, Paul Barr, is currently head coach of the Ireland schools U18 team. Former Irish Internationals and past pupils include Derek McGrath and past vice principal and teacher Noel Turley.

Rugby Honours

  • Leinster Schools Rugby Senior Cup - 2007, 2012
  • Leinster Schools Junior Cup - 1991, 2002, 2012
  • Leinster Schools Rugby Senior League - 1998

Other sports

St Michael's College also competes in Basketball, Tennis, Waterpolo, Gaelic Football, Cricket and Golf at all ages.

The school senior golf team has had national success in recent years and can avail of the nearby Elm Park Golf club for practice. In 2002 the school won the national matchplay championship and was runner up in the national stroke play championship at senior level. International schools golfers Ronan O Connor and Peter McGibney were members of the team. Both went on to play collegiate golf in the USA.

Athletics is also a feature of "off season" competition in St Michael's with the school competing in the East Leinster schools championship annually. All disciplines are supported and school teams can train at the nearby UCD athletics track. The school has had notable success over the years in National senior relays and sprinting events.


The school organises a yearly play which is held every year usually around November or December. The school often works in conjunction with the Teresian School in casting the play. In the past they have made such productions as Macbeth, Hamlet and Under Milk Wood.

The Michaels' students recently performed an adaptation of Georg Büchner's Woyzeck. Most recently the school produced and performed an original devised theatre show in association with Mount Anville called How to Make an Elephant Disappear.

Allen Leech is a well known and successful international actor who was a member of the class of 1999


The school has a respectable history in Debating, with teams taking part in numerous competitions across different languages including English, Irish and French.

Gaelic Football

The school provides teams for boys in First and Second year and have entered the Leinster GAA Schools competition since 2008.


The school maintains a tradition of jointly organising a charity fashion show with local school, Muckross Park College. There is a history of raising substantial sums of money for charities chosen by the students. The 2009 Fashion Show was held in the RDS Concert Hall on Sunday the 8th of March. It was themed on a Circus and attendance was as high as 1000 people.

Young Scientist

The school has a number of successful entries into the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Most recently in the 2012 exhibition, there were two entries. "Detecting Incidents on roads with Twitter and Traffic Cameras", by James Eggers and "Library book locator" by James O'Connell, Cian Reid and Sean Nicholson. James' project won the Senior Individual Technology Category, and the EMC special award. James O'Connell, Cian Reid and Sean Nicholson's project won the prestigious ComReg (Communications Regulator of Ireland) award.

James also entered the Young Scientist in 2011 with his project "The Vibes of Ireland: Understanding the emotional state of people living in Ireland with Twitter", and won his category.


The school year is divided into three terms of which the first, the Michaelmas Term (September to December) is the longest. The Hilary Term is from January to March. The third is the Trinity Term, from April to June, and this is when external public examinations are taken. The Michaelmas Term has a substantial holiday at half-term, when the College closes down.

Notable past pupils

  • Richard Boyd Barrett Teachta Dála (TD)- Socialist Workers Party and People Before Profit Alliance
  • Risteard Cooper â€" Comedy with RTÉ
  • Keith Gleeson â€" former Irish rugby international and Leinster player
  • Noel Reid - Leinster Rugby
  • Simon Keogh â€" Leinster Rugby
  • Allen Leech â€" Actor, Downton Abbey
  • Eoghan Murphy- Fine Gael TD
  • Ruairi Quinn â€" Minister for Education and Skills
  • Luke McGrath â€" Leinster rugby
  • Niall McLaughlin â€" 1998, UK Young Architect of the Year.
  • David O'Doherty - Comedian.
  • Killian Scott - Actor.
  • Jason O'Mara - Actor
  • Peter McDonald- Academy award nominated actor.

Notable teachers

  • Dermot Morgan â€" The future "Father Ted" taught English in the college before becoming a full-time actor.
  • Brian O'Meara - Former Leinster and Ireland professional rugby player.


External links

  • Official website
  • St. Michaels College Past Pupils Union

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