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St Johns Senior School stone sign


St. John’s Senior School came into being in September 1994 with the amalgamation of St. John’s Girls School and St. John’s Boys’ School. The former Boys’ School was fully renovated and in addition two new classrooms, a General Purpose Room, a Learning Support Room, a Staff Room and a Principal’s Office were added in a new extension. At present there are over 200 pupils on roll. These boys and girls enjoy a very varied curriculum.
Music is taught throughout the school and the school orchestra and choir have performed in Christmas Carol Services and school concerts in recent years.


In 1899, Brother Anthony, Provincial of the De La Salle order in Ireland, was asked by Bishop Brownwrigg to provide teachers for St. John’s Boys’ School. The school, which was then located on the Carlow Road. Conditions in the school were indeed very poor as the following description clearly illustrates.

“The building was dilapidated. The glass in all the windows was broken and the frames were rotten. The walls of the lower room were covered with a black substance resembling soot. The stairs were broken. There were holes in the floor upstairs, which made communication with those in the lower room very easy. The building was a veritable ruin.”

In 1901 the brothers were withdrawn from the school by their Provincial, Brother Anthony and demanded that the building be repaired. In September 1905, the Brothers and boys returned to the refurbished school. In 1947 a new school was approved for St. Johns Parish to replace the school on the Dublin Road. On the 12th September 1949 the new school in Ballybough Street was blessed and opened by Bishop Collier. In 1956 on the 1st of July Dan Kennedy was appointed as the first lay assistant teacher.

While the first priority of the Brothers was to give the boys under their charge a sound education in the 3Rs, Gaelic Games, The School Band and St. Johns Boys Scouts were of great importance.

Various football and hurling teams enjoyed success down through the years. Many pupils from St. John’s went on to make their mark at both club and county level.

St. John’s Boys’ School Band was formed by Br. Bernard in the mid fifties with boys playing the tin whistle. The band later progressed to a fully-fledged file and drum band in the 1960’s. They played at many concerts and other public occasions. Their most prestigious outings were to Nowlan Park where they had the honour of leading the great inter-county hurlers of the day around the pitch before the games.

The De La Salle Brothers ended their connection with St. John’s Boys’ School in 1984 when Br. Norbert retired. Dan Kennedy then became the first lay principal. He continued in this role until his retirement in 1990. Padraig O’Neill took over as principal and subsequently became principal of St. John’s Senior School. Following his retirement in 2013 Mary Neary was appointed principal. In January 2017, following the retirement of Mary Neary, Brian Roche was appointed principal.