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Coláiste Eoin
Fiat Justitia
Latin for 'Let justice be done'
Booterstown, County Dublin
Republic of Ireland
Established 1968
Chairperson Antain Delap
Principal Finín Máirtin
Staff 35 approx.
Gender male
Number of students 450 approx.
Religious order Christian Brothers

Coláiste Eoin is an Irish language Catholic voluntary secondary Gaelcholáiste for boys, under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust located in Booterstown, County Dublin, Ireland. It prides itself in the Irish culture, having successful hurling and football teams, traditional music bands, and Irish language debating teams. Over 96% of students went on to third-level education in 2005.[1] The school is financed by resources from the Department of Education and Skills and voluntary donations.


Coláiste Eoin's campus viewed from the gaelic pitch.

The school is 6 km from Dublin city centre. The campus incorporates Coláiste Eoin and Coláiste Íosagáin's original 1970s-built buildings, a science block, an arts block, the newly built 3-storey classroom block and sports hall, and a large sports field with a football and hurling pitch.

New buildings[edit]

Early in the 1990s it was deemed that the school's existing single storey buildings, built in the 1970s, were too small to accommodate the growth of both Coláiste Eoin and Íosagáin. It was decided that the school would require both a new classroom block and a sports hall and auditorium. The project experienced difficulties due to a lack of funds. It took many years of collecting voluntary donations from parents and members of the public for the project to reach the planning stage. A second barrier was posed by the fact that additional accommodation could only be placed in a constricted rear area of the site, because the existing grass, gaelic pitch to the south of this site was to be retained. This restricted site condition caused the new building to be formed into two shared elements: a four-storey academic block, and a Sports Hall with performance space. Despite these difficulties, building commenced in 2001, of a Grafton Architects designed structure that met the schools requirements. The project was completed in 2003 and it won a prestigious award at the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland Awards 2004. As well as that, the art block was expanded and redecorated over the summer of 2011

Coláiste Íosagáin[edit]

Coláiste Íosagáin is an Irish language Catholic voluntary secondary gaelscoil for girls under the trusteeship of the Sisters of Mercy, which shares a campus with Coláiste Eoin. It was established in 1971, two years after Coláiste Eoin's establishment, to provide education through the Irish language for girls in the South County Dublin area .


On the 27th of January 2015, it was revealed in Irish media[2] that Coláiste Eoin had cancelled scheduled workshops from Shout Out, an organisation dedicated to eliminating LGBT intolerance and bullying in schools. The reason given for the cancellation was reportedly the need to hear "both sides of the argument".[3] In a statement, the board of management said that they had "received written communications from a number of parents outlining their concerns" and that advice was sought from the "Catholic management" at the school. The statement also sought to make it clear that the workshop was merely postponed.[4] Nonetheless, the events have been widely perceived by the public to be tantamount to encouraging homophobic and transphobic bullying, by inferring that tolerance may not be the only way forward. The controversial move was satirised by Waterford Whispers News, an online satirical publication.[5] Following the announcement, while the principal Finín Máirtin refused to comment, students at the school were said to be showing solidarity to their LGBT classmates by wearing rainbow flags on their school crests.[6]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The Coláiste Eoin team that won the Leinster championship in 2012

Coláiste Eoin maintain a strong Gaelic Athletic Association tradition. The school has a history of success in hurling and Gaelic football competitions over thirty years. Many pupils have also excelled in an adapted form of Aussie Rules. The year 2012 is considered the golden year for sport in the school.

Music and drama[edit]

Coláiste Eoin is the alma mater of Kíla and Liam Ó Maonlaí and Fiachna Ó Braonáin of the Hothouse Flowers. This tradition continues to this day where bands are annually produced to perform in various competitions such as Siansa (formerly known as Slógadh), an All-Ireland competition for traditional musicians. The school succeeded in winning Siansa in 2002 and in 2007 and have been close runners up most other years.

2006 saw the school's first musical production, a modernised dramatisation of the Irish mythological epic Táin Bó Cuailgne written and directed by Colm Ó Foghlú. The musical was staged by the school's Transition Year in conjunction with Coláiste Íosagáin. The production was met with acclaim, selling out all four nights of its run and gaining significant publicity for the school, having been featured on the RTÉ, TG4 and TV3 networks.

The school's Transition Year is expected to continue staging musical productions annually due to the success of the 2006 production which came into being due to two main establishing factors, the first being that the school has access to a newly built auditorium and secondly that a Transition Year system has been put in place in the school since 2004, thus accommodating such extracurricular activities. The 2006–2007 Transition Year staged an original production called Opus IV, with Colm Ó Fóghlú and a team of dedicated producers once again at the helm. In 2008, the joint Transition Year performed an Irish-language version of Romeo and Juliet. The school has since focused on more mainstream titles, having staged performances of Grease, The Sound of Music, Beauty and the Beast and in 2013 Oliver!.


Recent years have seen a resurgence of debating activity in the school, in Irish, English and German. The school entered both Junior and Senior teams in Gael Linn's annual Irish Language debating competitions for the first time in nine years in 2004, where they found immediate success, winning the senior competition. The junior team followed in their footsteps in 2005 to win their respective competition. The school's senior team was defeated in the 2006 final. 2007 saw the junior team once again reach the final.

German debating has also come to the fore in the school, having successful teams for the past two years and even reaching the All-Ireland final in 2007. A small number of students have entered English language debating competitions, in which they were reasonably successful.

Music bands[edit]

Coláiste Eoin's rounded cultural approach to education has always encouraged music amongst students and teachers alike, the fruits of this witnessed in the large number of bands whose roots trace back to the institution.

Hothouse Flowers[edit]

Liam Ó Maonlaí and Fiachna Ó Braonáin began their musical careers in Coláiste Eoin, where the pair first met. They were known, during their time in the school, to busk on the streets of Dublin as "The Incomparable Benzini Brothers". They were hugely successful, winning an award for street entertainment within a year. It was not until a third member, Peter O'Toole, joined the group that it was renamed "Hothouse Flowers". It was at this stage that the group began their careers at a national and international level and have since become one of Ireland's most successful bands.


Kíla was formed in Coláiste Eoin in 1987 by Rossa Ó Snodaigh, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Eoin Dillon, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Karl Odlum and Dave Odlum, all 16 and 17-year olds at the time. Their early days saw them earn most of their money from busking. Over the next number of years the band gradually became more successful as their line up evolved, seeing Colm Ó Snodaigh, Dee Armstrong, Dave Reidy (ex coláiste eoin) and Eoin O'Brien join and losing Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Dave Odlum to fellow Irish band "The Frames". The band blossomed in the 1990s with a string of successful records and awards which continues to this day.

Davy Spillane[edit]

Davy Spillane, founding member of "Moving Hearts", began his career with uilleann pipes at the age of twelve in Coláiste Eoin. For the next three years he played at sessions and met many prominent Irish musicians. At the age of 16 he started to play at concerts in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. In 1978 he appeared on a compilation album of promising young uilleann players called "The Piper's Rock". It was in about 1980 that he established "Moving Hearts", an Irish folk-rock band, with fellow musicians Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Declan Sinnott, Keith Donald, Eoghan O'Neill and Brian Calnan. They followed in the footsteps of Horslips in combining Irish traditional music with rock and roll, and also added elements of jazz to their sound.

The Frames[edit]

Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Dave Odlum, whose musical careers began in ernest while attending Coláiste Eoin where they were founding members of "Kíla", later left the band to join "The Frames" in 1990. The band had only formed that year riding on the crest of Dublin's prolific early 90s rock and roll scene. The band found success in the mid-nineties with their second album "Fitzcarraldo" and have since become one of Ireland's leading rock bands. Dave Odlum left "The Frames" in 2002 to pursue a career as a music producer, working largely at Black Box Studios near Angers in France. He has produced albums for "The Frames" themselves as well as Gemma Hayes, Josh Ritter, Halite and Mic Christopher.

Na Casadaigh[edit]

The genesis of the group was formed in Coláiste Eoin in the 70ties and they continue to this day. The group consists of brothers Aongus, Seathrún, Ciarán, Fionntán, Feargus, and Odhrán Ó Casaide.

The Bonny Men[edit]

Formed in 2011 with some members from Coláiste Eoin and Íosagáin. They have released two CDs to date. Natalie and Maithiú are daughter and son of Feargus Ó Casaide from the famed 'Na Casadaigh'. Maithiú was recently asked by Bill Whelan of Riverdance to perform as a soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in The National Concert Hall. He has also been asked to play with the Chieftans on their upcoming tour.

Cormac Breathnach / Deiseal[edit]

Low Whistle player Cormac Breathnach started out on flute in a Coláiste Eoin school band. After school and college Cormac and fellow band member Niall Ó Callanáin (Bouzouki) formed the band 'Méristem' with Máire Breathnach which was then replaced by the band 'Deiseal' set up with Niall investigating more jazz tinged accompaniment making way for Cormac's low whistle improvisations on traditional tunes.They released three CDs and then Cormac continued on his own producing 2 CDs under his own name.

Na Fíréin[edit]

Colm Mac Séalaigh, a former teacher in Coláiste Eoin since its foundation, formed "Na Fíréin" in May 1984 with fellow members Eoin Smith, Gearóid Ó Murchú and Franny McBride. It was an attempt to create the first true rock band that sang in the Irish medium. Colm himself wrote a large number of the band's songs including their most famous song "Tír na nÓg".

De Barra[edit]

Having had a brief moment as a ensemble as Spéirling (preceded by Délos), brothers Cormac (Harp, Vocals), Eamon (Piano, Flute), Ruairí (Bass, Percussion, Low Whistle, Guitar) and Fionán (Guitar, Sound Engineer) spent much of the rest of their musical life as collaborators with some of Ireland's great musical names; [Cormac with Moya Brenann and Hazel O Connor, Eamon with Damien Dempsey, Slide and Moya, Fionán with Riverdance and Moya and Ruairí in-between being a software engineer with AIB with Hazel too] they have returned as a family group and released the album An Caitín Bán under their family title De Barra.

Daire Ó Breacáin[edit]

Daire is well known as a creative fiddle player and founding member of the successful bands Slide, Danú and the Munnelly Band. He has toured with the likes of Stockton’s Wing, Púca, Salsa Celtica, Bray Vista, Hazel O’Connor, the Black Family, Niamh Parsons, Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill; including privileged recording and performances with the late Liam Clancy.

Rattle and Hum[edit]

Uisneagh Ó Treasaigh and Michael Malone are the bassist and lead singer respectively of the U2 tribute band "Rattle and Hum". (Now disbanded)

The Chalets[edit]

Chris Judge – lead bass, Dylan Roche – bongos and Enda Loughman – guitar, members of The Chalets, were all students at Coláiste Eoin.

The Complex[edit]

From 1979 to 1981, students Colm Ó Cíosóig (drums) and Liam Ó Maonlaí (vocals) played in The Complex with Kevin Shields and a bassist named Mark. Ó Maonlaí later formed Hothouse Flowers while Ó Cíosóig and Shields formed My Bloody Valentine.

Notable past pupils[edit]

Notable past teachers[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Irish Times schools ranking 2005 (subscription required)
  2. ^ McTeirnan, Anthea. "Dublin School Cancels Workshops on Homophobic Bullying". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  3. ^ McTeirnan, Anthea. "Dublin School Cancels Workshops on Homophobic Bullying". The Irish Times. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Eoin, Colaiste. "Raiteas" (PDF). Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Gay Rights Must be Balanced With Gay Wrongs Insist School". Waterford Whispers News. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Bohan, Christine. "Students to protest over school’s cancellation of homophobic bullying workshop". Retrieved 28 January 2015. 

Coordinates: 53°18′09″N 6°12′17″W / 53.302365°N 6.204599°W / 53.302365; -6.204599

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