St. Brendan's, Killarney

St. Brendan's, Killarney

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St. Brendan's, Killarney

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St. Brendan's, Killarney, known locally as The Sem, is a secondary school in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland.


St. Brendan’s is a Catholic Diocesan College, founded in 1860 by Bishop David Moriarty as a boarding and day-school for boys under the name of ‘ St. Brendan’s Seminary’. The first principal was Fr. Michael Barry, a renowned Professor of Rhetoric at All Hallows College. Ill-health soon forced Fr. Barry to return to Dublin and Fr. Thomas Lalor replaced him. Fr. Lalor had the title, ‘Director’. The first principal to have the title ‘President’ was Fr. Lalor’s successor, Fr. John Coffey (later Bishop Coffey). The College began in a large room on the ground floor of the newly-built Bishop’s House and boarders were accommodated in approved houses in the town. After the opening of the Presentation Monastery in 1861 some students lodged there. The land was rented from Lord Kenmare at a ‘peppercorn, ’ rent.

Gradually new classrooms and dormitories were built. The Tower wing was added to Bishop’s House in 1870, the main buildings took their present form as a result of extensive rebuilding in the 1890s, and a College Chapel, with professors’ rooms and dormitory accommodation overhead, was added to the Tower building in 1914. Further extensions followed in the 1930s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

By the 1970’s the designation ‘seminary’ was no longer used and the school’s official title became ‘St. Brendan’s College’. However,...
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