St Colman's


Patron Saint
St. Colman of Cloyne is the Patron Saint of the College. Born around 530A.D, we know that his missionary work was principally in East Cork and that he founded a monastery for male religious at Cloyne. The round tower as seen nowadays is built on the site of that monastery. Perhaps you will have noticed the College crest already:- it displays the symbol of the cross on one side of the round tower and the scholar’s quill for writing on the other. Together they remind us of the pursuit of holiness and of the student’s call to the learning that are set as a challenge to all who follow Christ. The College motto is “Dilis do Dhia agus d’Eirinn”, meaning “Faithful to God and to Ireland”.

The Intention of
the Founding Trust

St. Colman’s is a voluntary Catholic all boys’ secondary school, nowadays a day school only within the free education scheme and open to all students. It is described as a Diocesan College simply because it was originally built on the instructions of the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Cloyne and other trustees in 1858 to provide a high quality Catholic education for the young men of the diocese. These were the explicit instructions/intentions attached to the founding Deed of Trust. Such instructions are foundational to what is nowadays called the characteristic spirit or Catholic ethos of the College. Every school in fact throughout the world has an ethos of some kind-- there is no such thing as a school free of ethos.
 While there are many secondary schools in Ireland with a Catholic ethos (under various Trusts such as ERST and CEIST), St. Colman’s belongs to a particular group of forty diocesan schools directly under the trusteeship/patronage of the Irish bishops concerned. Cloyne has four such diocesan secondary schools within that network. Although it is a Catholic school, St. Colman’s College is equally welcoming to and is respectful of students of other faiths and of none, as is clear from its admissions policy. St. Colman’s strives to achieve the highest academic excellence for all and to be open for dialogue with all.

Gospel Values
Love, Care, Respect
Catholic Schools continue Jesus's teaching mission. Referred to as "teacher" in the Gospels 46 times, Jesus's role as an educator is prominent. His ministry encompassed healing, liberation, and an invitation to emulate Christ. This path led to the kingdom of God, where talents foster personal growth and communal welfare. St. Colman’s College is dedicated to upholding this legacy. Alongside other Catholic educational institutions, it's rooted in a living tradition. The mystery of Christ, passed down through generations, shapes its essence. St. Colman’s students engage in meaningful charitable projects and uphold Christian values. These schools harmonize faith and reason, recognizing their compatibility in nurturing well-rounded individuals. Collaboration between faith and reason, especially in the digital age, holds potential for novel possibilities.

St. Colman’s Engages a Priest Chaplain as a Member of Its Pastoral Care Team

St. Colman’s, like other Catholic Schools, is called to support Catholic parents who wish to have their teenage children nourished and strengthened in faith, not just in a private way but also so that their faith may be lived and practised in the public arena. Religious education, as with other subjects, is part of the educational class day in St. Colman’s. But personal formation in the faith, sometimes called catechesis, or devotional practice, is also an integral part of a full Religious education programme. A living partnership between home, school and parish raises the consciousness of all. St. Colman’s College has a residential Chaplain, appointed by the Diocese, among its pastoral care and teaching staff. He is Fr. Eamonn Barry, a priest much experienced in Youth retreats and Parish Missions. He celebrates special Masses on important occasions for class and school groups. He offers spiritual guidance, counselling and prayer opportunities for many.
In a faith school, such as St. Colman’s, league tables are not everything. Parents and pupils may, of course, during school hours visit the College Chapel which was built in 1912 thanks mainly to the generosity of the late Canon Patrick A. Sheehan, past pupil, prolific writer and novelist (Glenanaar, The Graves of Kilmorna etc.).

Resource: Catholic Education at Second-Level in the Republic of Ireland. Looking to the Future. Reprint(2015). This 40 page booklet is published by Catholic Schools Partnership (Maynooth). It may be downloaded at its website or at
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