THE DOMINICAN COLLEGE ECCLES ST
On the 10th of January 1882, two weeks after the arrival of the sisters, the Dominican College opened in 18/19 Eccles Street with a small number of pupils. House number 18, was reorganised as a new school while house number 19 became the convent. Both houses were fine examples of Georgian architecture.
The latter part of the nineteenth century was particularly important for the education of young women in Ireland. The Irish Intermediate Act, passed in 1879, enabled the setting up of a system of secondary education for both girls and boys, while the establishment of the Royal Colleges encouraged women to pursue higher education.
The Dominican Sisters, with their enlightened approach to the education of young women, prepared the pupils for the Intermediate Board Examination. High standards were achieved. Numbers increased so rapidly that very soon the original accommodation became inadequate. New buildings were added, and as the years went by, adjacent houses were bought and adapted for school use. The foundation stone of the new block was blessed and laid on May 31st 1888. Another stone, of white marble, blessed by Pope Leo XIII was brought to Ireland and set inside the building. This stone can still be seen today in Dominican College, Griffith Avenue.
ST MARY'S UNIVERSITY CENTRE
As the secondary school developed and flourished, a university education for women emerged in Eccles Street. Women-students, prepared by the Dominican Sisters, presented themselves for the Degree examinations of the Royal University. Eccles Street became a true university centre. St. Mary's University Centre, already under the auspices of the Dominican Nuns, transferred to Eccles Street in 1902.
ST DOMINIC'S TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE 1908–1911
A Training College for secondary teacher training for women was established in 1908. It became known as St Dominic's Training College. It fulfilled its duty until Diploma Courses in Education were begun in University College Dublin in 1911.
ST THOMAS' ACADEMY 1898–1965
A Junior Boys' School, known as St. Thomas' Academy, was opened in 1898. It continued to flourish until 1965, when it was closed down to create much needed extra accommodation for the secondary school. A new junior school for both girls and boys was opened in 1965.
SCOIL CHAITRÍONA 1928 to date
In 1928 Scoil Chaitríona was founded by the Dominican Sisters in Eccles St. to provide education through the medium of Irish for girls. It was the first Second Level all Irish School in Ireland for girls. (Irish is the spoken language of the School and all subjects are taught through this medium). It was for a long time called an "A school" as the girls who scored highest in the entrance exam for the Dominican College were automatically streamed into Scoil.
Again increasing needs for more space in Eccles Street resulted in the transfer of Scoil Chaitríona in 1972, to new school buildings at Mobhí Road, Glasnevin. It first opened its doors to boys in 1986. There are currently 460 pupils attending Scoil Chaitríona.
ECCLES ST COMMERCIAL COLLEGE 1931–1978
A residential Commercial College was set up in 1931 to cater for women pursuing careers in business. It remained open until 1978 when again, the Secondary school needed further space.
The Mater Hospital Management commenced negotiations with the Dominican Community in furtherance of their intent to acquire the entire block of buildings occupied by the school to provide for the expansion of the hospital. Much to everyone's lament, these beautiful houses and a much-loved school were demolished in the 1908s.
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