Gonzaga College

::"For the school in Washington, D.C., see Gonzaga College High School. For the school in Spokane, Washington, see Gonzaga University".Infobox Irish school
name = Gonzaga College S.J.
irish_name = Coláiste Gonzaga C.Í

motto's = "Semper et Ubique Fidelis"
Latin for 'Always and
Everywhere Faithful'A.M.D.G (Ad Maijoram Dei Gloria)
which translates as
"for the greater glory of god"
established = 1950
location = Ranelagh, Dublin 6,
Republic of Ireland
students = 520
keyprole = Principal
keypname = Kevin Whirdy
free_label = Religious order
free = Jesuits
homepage = http://www.gonzaga.ie

Gonzaga College S.J. is a private Catholic boys secondary school in Ranelagh, Dublin, Ireland, under the trusteeship of the Society of Jesus. Founded in 1950, the curriculum is traditional, with a broad general programme of subjects including the classics at junior cycle and the opportunity in senior cycle, to study eight subjects for the Leaving Certificate. Gonzaga is one of a number of Jesuit schools in Ireland.The school is named after the early Jesuit St Aloysius Gonzaga and takes its emblem from the coat of arms of the Gonzaga family.


The school buildings were bought from the Bewley family in 1949. Gonzaga tried to be a modern school from its inception. At first students did not take the Leaving Certificate exam but instead did the UCD matriculation in fifth year while sixth year was a pre-university philosophy year. Later, the British O-Levels were introduced for fourth years and the Leaving Certificate was introduced for sixth years. The prep school was closed in the 1990s. In the early 1970s it was proposed that the School would become a Comprehensive under the trusteeship of the Jesuits along the same lines as that achieved in Limerick, however the proposal was suddenly dropped when the government decided to abandon the denomintational Comprehensive model.


The school is located 3km from Dublin city centre on a large piece of land including a front lawn with cricket crease, rugby pitches and tennis courts. The school buildings include a library, chapel, bell tower, priests' residence and science block. The architecture of the school fuses modern copper roofed buildings with existing period houses. Some sections of the school grounds were sold to developers for residential housing in the 1980s and 1990s.

Academic Performance

Gonzaga has a reputation for academic excellence. [ [http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/front/2005/1121/1630273000HM1FEEDER.html Irish Times Article:Free schools score highly in third-level feeder list] ] The use of examinations to select pupils has been discontinued following government intervention [ [http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/D/0524/D.0524.200010170259.html Dáil question to minister for education on use of entrance exams] ] (the state part funds the school by paying some teachers' salaries). In 2005, Gonzaga sent 68% of its Leaving Cert pupils to University College Dublin and 21% to Trinity College Dublin. Almost annually, it comes first in a league table of Dublin schools ranked by percentage of Leaving Cert students progressing to third level education. [ [http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/special/2005/feeder/page5.pdf Irish Times schools ranking 2005 (subscription required)] ]

Sensitive to criticism of the school for being elitist in its selection techniques (the admission form still requires applicants' parents to list their job titles and employers' names), the school introduced an 'Assisted Places' scheme. [ [http://www.gonzaga.ie/filemgmt_data/files/Admissions%20Policy%202004%20%286%29%20web%20format.doc Admissions policy] ]

Visual arts, theatre and music are still emphasised in the curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to study Latin and Greek. [ [http://www.gonzagaunion.ie/news/view-details.asp?NewsID=105 Latin and Greek encouraged by headmaster] ] The school chess team has been particularly successful, winning national and international awards [ [http://www.millfield.somerset.sch.uk/content.php?module=news&element=44 Millfield International Chess Tournament - 15 December 2005] ] Notably their achievements include dozens of Leinster and All-Ireland titles as well as winning the prestigious Millfield International Chess Tournament, held in Somerset, UK, in 1999. [ [http://www.iol.ie/~jghurley/news9.htm Chess Ireland - News ] ]


The main school sport is Rugby union followed by cricket and tennis. Gaelic games are not played although a team has been entered for the last three years in a gaelic blitz. The team competed with several other rugby playing schools. The blitz was won by Gonzaga in 2007 in Castleknock College. The school is occasionally represented by a soccer team, annual friendly games are played against St. Conleth's College. The Junior Cup Rugby teams of 1989, 2003 and 2006 reached the final of the Leinster Schools Junior Cup. The Senior Cup team have often reached the quarter finals of the cup, but have never made it past this stage. They have won the Senior League(first round knock outs of senior cup) the last few years, the league precedes the cup. Although the top 7 rugby-playing schools do not enter it, it is very highly contested. The colleges golf team have paved the way for some of the countries finest young golfers.The team is one of Dublins elite top five golf schools having won the Leinster titles in 1999 and 2006. Previously they reached the semis of the junior cup.


The school has a liberal, intellectual, Jesuit ethos. [http://www.gonzaga.ie/home/ap06]


Recently, Gonzaga has begun a construction project to add classrooms, a theater, and a new canteen/lunch hall.Fact|date=April 2008

Notable Alumni

*Paul Carney - Irish High Court judge [http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2003/04/13/story135990641.asp]
*Anthony Clare - Psychiatrist and broadcaster [http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/medicalscience/story/0,9837,490610,00.html]
*Finghin Collins - Concert Pianist [http://www.pasadenaisd.org/pearlhall/music/Finghin%20Collins.htm]
*Ciarán Cuffe - Green Party TD [http://www.greenparty.ie/people/ciaran_cuffe]
*Conor Deasy - Lead singer with The Thrills []
*Paul Durcan - Poet [http://www.independent.ie/unsorted/features/poetry-and-emotion-517894.html]
*Tony Ensor - Former Irish rugby international [http://www.village.ie/magill_articles/sport/old_dogs_and_new_tricks/]
*Kevin Feeney - Irish High Court judge [http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2004/12/12/story974.asp]
*Ross Geoghegan - Professor of Mathematics, State University of New York [http://www.math.binghamton.edu/ross/]
*Charles Edward Lysaght - writer [http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=128]
*George K. Miley - Professor of Astronomy, Leiden University [http://www.fwn.leidenuniv.nl/gs/astronomy/staff/miley.htm]
*Red Morris, 4th Baron Killanin [http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=300&si=1278472&issue_id=11621]
*Ross McCarron - Leinster rugby player
*Barry McCrea - writer
*Michael McDowell - former Tánaiste and former Minister for Justice [http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2006/1007/index.html]
*Dave McPhillips - Guitarist with The Coronas
*Eunan O'Halpin - Bank of Ireland Professor of Contemporary Irish History in Trinity College Dublin
*Jim O'Callaghan - Fianna Fáil politician [http://www.jimocallaghan.com/profile.php]
*Eamon Ryan - Green Party TD and current Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources [http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2006/11/19/story18977.asp]
*Peter Sutherland - former EU Commissioner [http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sga976.doc.htm]
*Hugh Tinney - Concert pianist [http://www.finghincollins.com/main.php?type=news&article=gonzaga]
*Brendan Walsh - Professor of National Economics, University College Dublin [http://www.ucd.ie/economic/rsai/staff/bwalsh/bwalsh.html]
*Timothy Webb - Professor of English, University of Bristol [http://www.bristol.ac.uk/english/staff/webb.html]
*Macdara Woods - Poet


* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article592067.ece Parent Power: Zealous ethos drives Gonzaga to the top] The Sunday Times
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20030214094235/gonzaga.ie/college/history.html archived history page from old version of the college website]
*"A Short History of Gonzaga College, 1950-2000" by Christopher J. Finlay]


External links

* [http://www.gonzaga.ie/ Gonzaga College SJ Web site]
* [http://www.gonzagaunion.ie/ Gonzaga Union]

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