On the 1st of April, 1954, 941 boys marched from the Old Mon and theNun's Island Bish National Schools to their bright brand new St. Patrick's School s situated at the juncture of Bridge Street and Market Street. The Mon had been in existence since 1827, and the Bish National school since 1863, so it was with mixed feelings that these boys transferred from the old to the new.
The site of the school had once been the location of The Shambles Barracks which was occupied by the British Army up until 1909, when it was bought by the Parish Priest of St. Patrick's, Fr. Dooley for £1,200. For some years after that, it functioned as a tenement, and then became derelict for some years. Building on the new school started in 1952, and on March 31st 1954 it was officially opened by the Minister for Education, Sean Moylan.
The first principal was Brother Lewy O'Sullivan, and on the staff were Brothers Killian, Cuthbert, Luke, Brendan, Raymond, Aidan, Christopher, Alexius, Edwin, Alphonsus, Fabian, Linus, Rembert, Finbarr and Camillus with Messrs. Cyril Mahony, Connie O'Donoghue, Ned Carroll, Gerry McNamara and Padraic Siocru.
This school has made a wonderful contribution to Galway life since it opened, and much of this is documented in a book just published simply titled "The history of St. Patrick's School, 1954-2004". It was compiled by Brother Niall Coll, and is really a photo-history punctuated with some essays and contributions from former pupils, but that is it's great strength. If you went to St. Pat's, then your photograph is almost certainly in there. An ideal Christmas gift for any graduate of this institution, available from the school and good bookshops at €30.
Our picture shows an early class from the school. Back row, L to R; Br. Loyola, Bob Raftery, Charles Ramberg, Gerard O'Dowd, Richard Hackett, Gerard Flanagan, John Wade, Brian Cantwell, james O'Dea & Bertie Flynn. Third row; Tony Gray, David Lydon, James Davoren, Vincent O'Brien, Joe Flanagan, Mike Gorman, Christy Wiley, John Condon, Martin Egan.
2nd row; John Deacy, Ray Philbin, Alan Lee, Jimmy Coffey, Mike Carroll, John Heaney, Tony Gallagher, Kenneth Cooke, Noel Tummon, J.J.Curran. In front are Walter Wade, Andy King, Mike Thornton, Mel Flaherty, Liam Glynn and Philip Leyden.
The Old Galway Society will present a talk entitled "50 Years behind the Counter - A Social History of those Times" on Thursday, 14th December, next commencing at 7.30p.m. The speaker is Kevin Duffy of Headford, who has written a book on the subject, and the lecture takes place in the Mercy School, Newtownsmith, and please note that the gates will be locked for security purposes shortly after 7.30p.m., so please come early. N.B. The early start of 7.30p.m. is due to the Members Christmas Party immediately following the talk. Perhaps you might consider becoming a member and join existing members in a bit of festive song and cheer.
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