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History

In 1869, His Eminence Cardinal Cullen, together with the Parish Priest, Canon Brock of Arran Quay invited the brothers to open a school in North Brunswick Street.  The original granite building (which is still intact) was designed by Ashlin (a pupil of the great architect Pugin) and built by Comerford of North King Street.  There were 4 large rooms and 2 smaller ones and 300 bare-footed pupils attended the school on the first day.  The gable ends of the building had windows giving a church like effect while one end was crowned with a little belfry.  In this belfry was a bell which was rung by a pupil each day at Angelus.  Through the excertions of a boy it came tumbling through the ceiling one day and was never replaced.  The school had no protective railing and had an open gravel put in the yard, from which the sand used in the building was dug.

In the early years, the toilet facilities were inadequate and this remained so until toilets were built on the site of the current assembly hall in 1924.  In 1905, a science room and a manual work room were built.  These rooms extended back to the wall of the girls school (the current secondary school first and second year rooms) but were demolished in 1965 to leave an entrance into the primary yard.

From the beginning and up to 1926, the brothers received no state salary and were supported by charity sermons and church collections.  In the 1920’s the school fee was 3p a week but this was raised to 6p a week in 1923.  There was no formal teaching in the classrooms.  The brothers were assisted by monitors who examined the boys in their tasks or homework.

In 1928 the Dept. of Education sanctioned the building of a school to accommodate 500 pupils.  As a result, a 2 storey building facing Brunswick Street., (the bottom two floors of the present primary school) was opened in 1934.  This building had 6 classrooms and 2 cloakrooms with no toilet facilities.  The passage-way between the new school and the granite school was open as was the stairway in the school built in 1934.

After the war, an upsurge in enrolment meant that there was a need for more accommodation.  In the mid 50’s an extension to the original granite building was built which consisted of 4 classrooms and a staffroom.  In the primary school the old stone block of 1934 was re-designed and a third story built on it while a new three storey block of six classrooms having shelters underneath was erected at right angles.  This new building along with the school assembly hall was officially opened by Archbishop McQuaid in 1967.

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