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|St. Colman's College|
46 Armagh Road
|Motto||Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia (Latin)|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Age||11 to 18|
|Colour(s)||Dark blue, grey & light blue|
The College stands on Violet Hill, the same 60 acre (243,000 m²) site it has occupied since 1829, adjacent to the Bishop of Dromore's residence and the school itself is known as colloquially as Violet Hill throughout Ireland.
In 2018, 82.3% of its entrants achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including the core subjects English and Maths.
In 2019 the school was ranked 14th out of 159 secondary schools in Northern Ireland with 87.4% of its A-level students who sat the exams in 2017/18 being awarded three A*-C grades.
Aside from its academic work, St. Colman's is known as a nursery for Gaelic footballers for the senior men's teams of both Down and Armagh. The school is the most successful Ulster team in schools' Gaelic Football. In 2011 the College's senior Gaelic football team was Ulster and All-Ireland champions.
The College has a distinguished history in Gaelic football winning the premier colleges' trophy, the Hogan Cup, eight times in 1967, 1975, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2010 and 2011. Only St Jarlath's College, Tuam has won the All-Ireland competition on more occasions. The college remains the most successful Ulster college winning the MacRory Cup for the 19th time in 2011.
Other sports offered at the College include, but are not limited to:
- golf – St Colman's were Irish & Ulster Schools Champions in 1992 and former past pupil's Rory Leonard & Hilary Armstrong are current and former Irish Internationals. In 2017 St Colman's reached the Darren Clarke School Golf League Final in Lisburn Golf Club. They won on the day 3.5-3.5, winning by holes won.
- rugby union
The school has a sixty-member orchestra, run by the music teachers and with the help of additional instrumental tuition from local musicians. The school also has two string quartets, a flute quintet, a woodwind quintet, a brass quintet and a band. St Colman's won the 2005, 2013, 2014 and 2019 Newry Feis Orchestra group Cup.
The school choir has worked with St George's Singers, Belfast and the Ulster Orchestra, the Irish College in Paris and Le Bec-Hellouin, mother house of the Order of Saint Benedict of Holy Cross Abbey, Rostrevor.
The choir has taken part in six editions of Morning Service for BBC Radio Ulster, broadcast live from the College's Chapel and St Brigid's Church, Newry. The trebles have performed live in Broadcasting House, Belfast as part of BBC Radio Ulster's Sounds Classical. The choir has also recorded with BBC Northern Ireland for the programmes O Little Town and Our Wee World. The choir were winners of the Southern Grammar School Regional Heat of the UTV School Choir of the Year 2005.
Also in 2005 the choir took part in the 20th anniversary of Sing Carols which was broadcast on BBC NI and BBC Radio Ulster. Their live BBC Radio Ulster's performance of Elaine Agnew's commissioned work Blessed was used on the promotional CD for the European Chamber Orchestra's educational programme throughout the European Union.
The College Chapel has a two-manual pipe organ, originally built by Rieger Orgelbau and rebuilt and installed in the college chapel by Kenneth Jones & Associates, for the use of the students.
The Traditional Group has two All-Ireland standard Uilleann pipers, two button accordion players, two mandolin players, six tin whistlers, a fiddler, a bodhrán player and a guitarist.
St Colman's has a successful history in quizzing, becoming Northern Irish champions on multiple occasions in each of the three main competitions : Junior Schools' Challenge (u-13), Senior Schools' Challenge and the Ulster Schools Quiz.
On Monday 14 January 2008, 15 new classrooms and a multi-purpose hall became available for student use. A refurbishment of the existing College building and classrooms was completed in 2009, with all classrooms now equipped with interactive whiteboards. In addition to this, the grounds were developed with two tennis courts, 60 additional car parking spaces for students and teachers, and a hard surface play area.
- Late 1950s/Early 1960s: Major extension added to the existing school
- 7 June 1972: A further extension added to the College opened on this day
- 10 June 1994: Two new sciences rooms and a Design & Technology block opened
- 1999: Eight existing science rooms refurbished
- August 2005: Design & Technology suite refurbished
- 12 October 2005: New sports hall officially opened
- April 2009: Library
In October 2017, the Diocese of Dromore settled the "biggest ever pay-out in a historical abuse case in Northern Ireland" over claims that Fr Malachy Finnegan, who was head of the college between 1976 and 1987, sexually abused a pupil. Finnegan, who died in 2002, was the subject of twelve abuse allegations made between 1994 and 2016.
Notable former pupils
This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. (September 2017)
- Frank Aiken (1898–1983), Irish Republican Volunteer, Tánaiste and one of the longest-serving members of Dáil Éireann
- Michael Cusack - founding member of Gaelic Athletic Association
- Francis Campbell, UK ambassador to the Holy See (2005–2011)
- Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, final Law Lord of the House of Lords and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
- Michael Legge, actor (Angela's Ashes, Dream Team, Shameless)
- Dermott Lennon, 2002-2006 Show Jumping World Champion
- John Lynch, actor (Cal, In the Name of the Father, Sliding Doors)
- John Magee, Roman Catholic Bishop of Cloyne and former private secretary to three popes, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II.
- Shay McCartan, current footballer with Bradford City A.F.C.
- Raymond McCreesh (1957–1981), Irish Republican Volunteer and Hunger Striker.
- Frank Mitchell, presenter on UTV
- Caolan Mooney, a former Australian rules footballer with Collingwood Football Club
- Kevin Trainor, actor (Hellboy, The Catherine Tate Show, Utopia)
- St Colman's, Violet Hill homepage.
- "Belfast Telegraph GCSE 2018". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- "Belfast Telegraph A-Level: Northern Ireland School League Tables 2019". Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "Classy St Colman's Newry ease to Hogan Cup triumph". bbc.co.uk/sport. 10 April 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
- Morris, Allison. "Victim of paedophile priest secures biggest ever pay-out". The Irish News. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "Father Finnegan abuse is a dark cloud on Newry school". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "Fr Malachy Finnegan was 'accused of 12 abuse cases'". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- "Newry College Had Key Role in Founding G.A.A." Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- Newry Memoirs: "Newry College Had Key Role In Founding GAA"; accessed 2 May 2009