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From 1882, Dominican College, Eccles Street, educated young women in preparation for their role in a rapidly changing society. Dominican College always responded to the significant changes taking place in Irish society. One hundred years later in 1983, it had almost 800 students attracted by the ethos and academic success of the College. Unfortunately, the Mater Hospital wished to acquire the entire school site on Eccles Street including all of the buildings, some dating from the 18th Century, to provide for its future expansion. After many months of negotiation, it was finally decided to transfer the school to a new site in the grounds of All Hallows College, Drumcondra, despite a protest march by the students to save the school.

The new Dominican College, Griffith Avenue under construction (and inspection!)

In September 1984, staff and pupils moved to their new modern school, catering for almost 650 pupils. Today, Dominican College, Griffith Avenue is a flourishing and successful secondary school, carrying on the Dominican ethos in pleasant landscaped surroundings. It continues the tradition begun over one hundred and thirty years ago.

Dominican College Griffith Avenue

Dominican College is concerned with the development of the whole person, and through its educational activities strives to encourage student self-confidence, self-esteem and self-understanding as they experience the essence of Dominican education in a modern world. Veritas, the school motto, infuses all aspects of school life. Dominican College has entered the 21st century, assured in its confidence that it will carry on and develop the traditions of Eccles Street and Griffith Avenue by providing a Christian education for those who attend it.

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SCOIL CHAITRÍONA, SrÁid Eccles agus Bothar MÓbhÍ

Bunaíodh Scoil Chaitríona sa bhliain 1928 i Sráid Eccles chun oideadhas a chur ar fáil do chailíní mheán na Gaeilge. Cuir an tSuir Treasa Ní Fhlanagain ar bun í.  Ba í an chéad Scoil Dara Leibhéal lánGhaeilge do chailíní in Éirinn í. Sa bhliain 1972, bhog Scoil Chaitríona go dtí a suíomh  láithreach ar Bothar Móbhí. Glacadh buachaillí isteach den chéad uair sa bhliain 1986. Bunaithe ag na Siúracha Dominicáineacha agus é a reachtáil acu go dtí 2009 nuair a chireadh í faoi iontaobhas Le Chéile. Is í an Ghaeilge príomhtheanga na Scoile agus múintear gach ábhar trí mheán na Gaeilge.

The students Máirín Ní Dhomhnalláin and Ellie Mhic Chumaill (nee Nic Raois) who were among the first enrolled in Scoil Chaitríona, Eccles Street on 8th September in 1928. Ellie’s sister Mairéad Diskin (nee Rice) also started that day.

One year after Irish became a required subject in the curriculum, the Dominican Sisters acquired No. 22 Eccles Street and founded Scoil Chaitríona there in 1928. It was founded by Sr Treasa Ní Fhlanagain OP at the request of committed parents.  It commenced as a boarding school and made education through the medium of Irish available to girls. It was the first second level all-Irish school in Ireland for girls. The school prospered, but with increasing student numbers it soon outgrew the accommodation available in Eccles Street. It became necessary to relocate to larger premises, so in 1970 the building of the new school commenced. On 21st April 1972 Scoil Chaitríona moved from the city centre to its present more spacious location at Mobhí Road.

Students help with the move to the new Scoil Chaitríona, Bothar Móbhí in 1972

In 1986 a new era in the life of the school began when boys were enrolled for the first time, and this has proved to be very successful. The Dominican Sisters ran the school until 2009 when the Le Céile Trust were appointed as trustees. Irish remains the spoken language of the school and all subjects are taught through this medium.

The new Scoil Chaitríona, Bothar Móbhí

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“In 1913 The Lanthorn, Year Book of the Dominican College Eccles, came into being, was named, and set alight to burn and shine for the scattered children of Eccles Street”

Cover page of The Lanthorn

As a young Dominican priest, Father Finbar Ryan came to Eccles Street in 1907. He was later to become His Grace Most Reverend Dr Finbar Ryan OP, Coadjutor Archbishop of Port of Spain, West Indies. He became a great friend and supporter of Eccles Street, for Community, students and past pupils alike. He conducted retreats in the school for many years, and is remembered by those who knew him as priest, preacher, counsellor and friend of souls.

Opening page of the first Lanthorn, Christmas 1913

Mother Reginald OP was the first Editor of the Lanthorn, the first issue of which was launched in 1913 with the help and guidance of Fr Ryan, editor of ‘The Irish Rosary’ and founder and first editor of ‘The Imeldist’. The Lanthorn was published every year from 1913 to 1971. Its name was inspired by the title Lucerna Christi, the 'Lantern of Christ' once given to Saint Dominic: 

"I illuminate the past…I light up the present…My beams shineinto the future"

Mother Reginald OP, First Editor of The Lanthorn, Christmas 1913

The activities of the school and the past pupils were recorded in articles and photographs. Events and developments noted in the news items show the gradual changes as each decade followed on from one another, for almost 60 years. Copies of The Lanthorn, Yearbook of the Dominican College Eccles Street, are the treasured possessions of past pupils. Just as the light shines from a Lantern, the spirit of the school shines through its pages. Many of the images used in this website were obtained from Lanthorns lovingly retained by past pupils.

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The Junior Boys’ School in Eccles Street was known as St. Thomas’ Academy and was opened in 1898. The School catered for the changing educational needs of Dublin as the Twentieth Century approached. Dublin and Ireland as a whole were about to undergo great social and political change. Patriots like Padraic Pearse were emphasising the need for education and St Thomas’ Academy was one of those schools that provided early education for boys from age 4 to 7 years. Having received First Holy Communion these boys would have continued their education in local boys schools such as Belvedere College, O’Connell’s and Coláiste Mhuire to name but a few.

A class of boys from St Thomas’ Academy First Communicants

St. Thomas’ Academy continued its Junior Education for Boys until 1965. The School was based in one of the Georgian Houses on Eccles Street but was closed down and merged with the Girls’ School in 1965. The advent of Free Secondary Education in 1967 resulted in an expansion of the Secondary School. The Junior Co-Educational School was closed down in 1975 and the building was used to cater for the growing Secondary School population.

A class of boys from 1914 (left) and 1963 (right)

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The primary purpose of the Commercial College, founded in 1930, was to give students who had completed their secondary education an up-to-date commercial and business training to prepare them for examinations in shorthand, typewriting and bookkeeping, for careers in the business and financial worlds or government services. To be good Clerks, they had to study much more than arithmetic. Both Pitman’s and Gregs’ shorthand were taught, although Pitman’s system was more in demand. Book-Keeping, Business Methods, and Touch Typewriting were also taught. Rhythmical typing to music was practised in order to increase typing speeds. Students were trained in the use of the Gestetner machine and the Adding machine which were new additions to the business world in 1931.

Students of the Commercial College, Eccles Street

Their spiritual instruction was not neglected. Fortnightly lectures on Doctrine were given by the Chaplain, and many students were in the Children of Mary Sodality. Two debating Societies were formed - The Veritas Society and The Aquinas Society, and debates were held every week on various topics. Commercial College students enjoyed Camogie, and they fielded two teams, A and B. Many students attended Art class every week, and used their new found skills with the Gestetner to reproduce their original drawings on the programmes for their musical and dramatic performances.

Commercial College 'A' Camogie Team

To observe business first hand, the students were brought on visits to factories and businesses in the city eg Messrs Cahill’s Printing Works, and Messrs Williams and Woods (makers of sweets and jams). Many past pupils who were prominent in the professional and commercial life of the city were invited in to give talks to the students. It had an excellent reputation. All students were well prepared for interview and were highly successful in obtaining jobs in the Civil Service, Banks and Law Firms. The School closed in 1978.

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St Anne's School for Domestic Economy, Eccles Street

St Anne’s School for Domestic Economy was opened in 1941 at 14, Eccles Street during the war years to provide a one year specialised course in Household Management.

Class of students of St Anne's School

It was designed to prepare senior girls for the management of a home. It also prepared girls for the Entrance Examination to the Domestic Science Training Course, St Catherine’s, Sion Hill or entry to other Home Economics Teacher Training Colleges. The school closed in 1965.

Students undertaking lessons in wallpapering

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