Copyright 2018 - De La Salle High School

 

DE LA SALLE BROTHERS IN EDUCATION IN DOWN

 

ST PATRICK’S PRIMARY SCHOOL

 

1892

 

Three De La Salle Brothers arrived in Downpatrick to administer education to the John Street school under the principalship of Br Berchan O'Donnell.

 

1936

 

As a consequence of increasing numbers a new school was opened under the principalship of Br Gildas.

 

1951

 

Some 280 primary school boys processed from the Edward Street School to the new primary school in St Dillion's Avenue. In 1995 Mr Hugh Kelly succeeded Br John McTernan.

 

 

 

ST PATRICK’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL

 

1934

 

The High School as it was then known opened in a terrace house in Irish Street under the principalship of Br Alexius. An entrance examination was held and 42 pupils were enrolled. Ten other boys were admitted later.

 

1936

 

A site for a new School was purchased in Saul Street.

 

Dr Mageean, Bishop of the Diocese formally opened the school.

 

Following an inspection by the Ministery of Education the school was recognised as efficient and became eligible for grants.

 

2001

 

Br Fergus McArdle outgoing Principal was succeeded by Dermot Mullan, the first lay principal.

 

 

 

DE LA SALLE HIGH SCHOOL

 

1953

 

September 21 the first Catholic secondary school in Northern Ireland for the first time opened its doors in Edward St. with Brother Andrew Gallagher as Principal. With 180 pupils and eight of a staff the new St Patrick’s Secondary Intermediate school evolved at a very impressive rate.

 

1975

 

With the raising of the school leaving age to 15 and then 16 the school was becoming too small for the numbers and lacked appropriate playing facilities.

 

As early at 1972 the Brothers bought 14 acres of land adjoining St Patrick’s Grammar School and made this available as a site. Given the possibility of abolishing the qualifying examination and creating comprehensive education as pursued by the Government the De La Salle community proposed that they would build a new secondary on their property in close proximity to St Patrick’s Grammar School. The new school named the De La Salle Secondary School opened its doors to 550 boys and 34 teachers on Monday March 3, 1975.

 

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