Harman Patil (Editor)

St Colman's College, Newry

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Established  1823
Principal  Mr Cormac McKinney
Gender  Boys
Phone  +44 28 3026 2451
Founded  1823
Religion  Roman Catholic
Local authority  SELB
Address  Newry BT35 6PP, UK
Province  Ulster
Number of students  900
Location  46 Armagh RoadNewryCounty ArmaghBT35 6PPNorthern Ireland
Motto  Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia (Latin)
Colors  Grey, Light blue, Dark blue
Similar  St Paul's High School, Newry High School, St Ronan's Primary School, St Colmans Abbey Primary S, Abbey Christian Brothers

St colman s college newry prospectus

St Colman's College (Irish: Coláiste Cholmáin) is a Roman Catholic English-medium grammar school in Newry, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. Now named in honour of Colmán of Dromore, it was founded in 1823 as the Dromore Diocesan Seminary by Father J. S. Keenan. 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.


St colman s college newry at the bt young scientist and technology exhibition 2013


It currently has almost 900 students attending. Current principal Mr Cormac McKinney, is the first lay principal in the College's history.

St. Colman's is renowned in Irish sport as a particular nursery for Gaelic footballers for both Down and Armagh. As of 2011, the College's senior Gaelic football team are the Ulster and All-Ireland champions.

Aims of the college

Every boy carries the aims of the College, "Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia", on his blazer pocket badge:

  • Bonitas : to encourage moral uprightness and good citizenship; to develop a rounded personality
  • Disciplina : to instill through the operation of the school's discipline, that self-discipline necessary for success both in school and in the world of work; to equip each student with a set of attitudes and ideals for the shaping of his life
  • Scientia : to encourage the highest academic achievement of which the individual is capable
  • Gaelic football

    The College has a long and 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 have won the All-Ireland competition on more occasions. St Colman's College remains the most successful Ulster college winning the prestigious MacRory Cup for the 19th time in 2011.

    Other sports

    Other sports offered at the College include, but are not limited to:

  • handball
  • basketball
  • 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 2016 St. Colman's reached the Darren Clarke School Golf League Final getting beaten 4-3.
  • hurling
  • rugby union
  • Clubs

    Including, but not limited to: a club and a science club.


    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.


    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 also won the 2005, 2013 and 2014 Newry Feis Orchestra group Cup.


    The choir of St Colman's has been actively involved in music making both at a local and national level since its formation in 1987. Throughout that period it has accepted invitations to work with St George’s Singers, Belfast and the Ulster Orchestra. In 1995, the choir accepted an invitation to 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 extensive experience in radio and television broadcasts. It 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. In that same year, they were invited to take 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. On December 8, 2012 the choir linked up with past-pupil and former choir member Matt McGinn for a concert in Newry Town Hall.

    A distinctive feature of their work is an observance of the school’s traditional link with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dromore . Pupils and past-pupils make a valuable contribution to church music throughout the diocese and beyond and the choir itself serves liturgies at a diocesan level. In September 2010, it was a considerable honour to provide music for the funeral of Dr Francis Gerard Brooks, Bishop Emeritus of Dromore. Organ students of the College also provide music for Sunday liturgies at Holy Cross Benedictine Monastery, Rostrevor.

    Notable concert works include:

  • 2012 - Advent and the Nativity by Bruckner, Lauridsen, Pärt, Lawson & Ord
  • 2010 - Haydn: Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo
  • 2008 - Rutter: Magnificat
  • 2006 - Mozart: Requiem
  • 2004 - Fauré: Requiem
  • 2002 - Pergolesi: Magnificat
  • 2000 - Millennium Carol Service
  • 1998 - Fauré: Requiem
  • Organ

    The College Chapel proudly holds a two-manual Kenneth Jones pipe organ, which was recently built and installed in the college chapel for the use of the students

    Traditional Group

    The Traditional Group at the College is not just a music group, it is a social hub that spans across Years 8- 14. The students meet at break-time on Tuesdays and Fridays and the senior students meet during lunch-time on Wednesdays and Fridays. While there is certainly a lot of music shared in the true sense of Irish Traditional Music the craic is often louder than a session in full swing.

    The traditional group is pupil led and is very fortunate to have Martin Barry, Paul Fegan and Miceál Mullen at the reins teaching a variety of tunes with a unique flair or flamboyant arrangements and jazzy rhythms.

    The traditional group are fortunate to have two All-Ireland standard Uilleann pipers, two button accordion players, two mandolin players, six tin whistlers, a fiddler, a bodhrán player and a guitarist. Several students play more than one instrument allowing the group to explore a number of timbres when making music.

    The traditional group are able to produce high quality sets for special occasions and have greatly added to the celebratory atmosphere in the college over the past number of years.


    The school also regularly engages on trips and excursions. Language students often go to the country whose language they are learning, both as part of an educational trip with the school, and as part of student exchange programmes - such as recent trips to Salamanca, Spain.

    In addition to educationally oriented trips, there some other general excursions. An example of this would be the two ski trips that occur every second year for any student interested in going.

    There are also numerous field trips connected with educational courses, such as trips to Murlough Nature Reserve, as part of A-Level Geography.


    On Monday 14 January 2008, a new development featuring 15 new classrooms and a multi-purpose hall became available for students. 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 further developed with two tennis courts, 60 additional car parking spaces for students and teachers, and a hard surface play area.

    Previous developments

  • 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
  • Notable former pupils

  • Frank Aiken (1898–1983), 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.
  • Raymond McCreesh (1957–1981), Irish Republican Volunteer and Hunger Striker.
  • Frank Mitchell, presenter on UTV
  • Conor Murphy, Sinn Féin politician.
  • Caolan Mooney, a former Australian rules footballer with Collingwood Football Club
  • Shay McCartan, Current player with Accrington Stanley F.C.
  • Kevin Trainor, actor (Hellboy, The Catherine Tate Show, Utopia)
  • References

    St Colman's College, Newry Wikipedia