St Mary’s College, almost one hundred years old

Our photograph today shows the St Mary’s College hurling team which won the competition played between their school, Garbally, and St Flannan’s in 1924. The diocesan magazine The Mantle published this image and provided an update on the players in 1959, so the notes after their names describe their status in 1959.

Back row, left to right: Right Rev Monsignor J Mitchell, president of the college; Ben Farrell, a native of Craughwell, ordained a priest for Galway 1932, went to Australia, died in the diocese of Bathurst; Willie Fahy, Castlegar, now a parish priest in Australia; Jim McHugh, Headford, farmer at Cahermorris; Paul Keeley, Kilchreest, farmer at Kilchreest; Thomas Cunningham, Mountbellew, doctor in Tuam; Rev James O’Dea, PP Clarenbridge, then the bishop’s secretary.

Middle row: James Larking, Ardrahan, now PP of Peterswell; Michael Callanan, Moylough, Customs and Excise, RIP 1957; Owen O’Malley, Castlebar, chemist in Clontarf, Dublin; Frank Burke, Cornamona, NT in Cornamona; Frank Quinn, Kiltartan, now a PP in Australia; John O’Malley, Rosmuc, now a medical doctor in Lettermore.

In front are Bernard Mulkerrins, Kilchreest, now a CC in Kinvara; John Dooley, Shrule, consecrated bishop in 1951, Apostolic Delegate in Hanoi, Vietnam; Leo Hill, Ballinasloe, businessman in Ballinasloe; Patrick Killoran, Craughwell, died in Maynooth College as a student.

The foundation stone of the college was laid in May, 1910, and two years later it opened with 60 boarders @ £30 per annum and 17 day boys @ £6 per annum. Since then the school has been regularly expanding, constantly improving and upgrading facilities so that today, it is one of the finest educational institutions in the west.

Next year, 2012, St Mary’s College will celebrate its centenary. At the moment Peadar O’Dowd is busy compiling a history of the college, so if you have any old photographs, documents, stories or memories you might like to share with him, he would love to hear from you. Everything will be cared for and returned. He can be reached at (086 ) 818 3230 or at [email protected]

Finally, I would like to thank you, the readers, for your comments, your critiques, your corrections, and your support during the year. There would be no ‘Old Galway’ column without you. I wish you all a happy and a healthy New Year. Go mbeirimís beo.

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