Coláiste Éinde was one of the institutions founded by the State shortly after attaining freedom. It initially suffered from ‘growing pains’. It started on October 23 1928 in Furbo House, and later moved to Dublin before eventually finding its home in Threadneedle Road. The building was constructed by Stewarts to house St Louis nuns attending UCG and also for a girls’ organisation.
From the beginning it was a residential second level college for Irish speaking student teachers who, having graduated from a third level college, would become primary school teachers. One had to pass a testing entrance exam, with the emphasis on oral Irish, to gain admission. It was a scoil lán-Ghaelach.
On the day World War II started, a passenger ship named The Athenia was sunk off the west coast and several hundred survivors were taken to Galway. An emergency plan for the city was put into operation and about 100 of these people were offered refuge in St Enda’s. School holidays were extended. The Army at that point occupied the east wing of the school as a military hospital. A red cross was painted on the roof which was visible for many years. The school moved temporarily to Dublin.
In 1961, the college became open to the usual wide spectrum of students, many of whom were day pupils. In 1992 it became co-educational and today, the college, its staff, and its large student population, and of course its many distinguished graduates, are an enormous asset to Galway and its hinterland.
Our photograph today shows the first year class of 1961, the year in which day pupils attended the school for the first time. They are, front row, left to right: Seosamh Mac Garraigh, Béal an Mhuirthid, Maigheo; Séamas Mac Giolla Bríde, na Dúnaibh, Dún na nGall; Séamas Ó Fiobhra, Caisleán Gearr; Seán Ó Reachtabhra, Caisleán Gearr; Muiris Ó Conghaile, Bóther na Mine; Mícheál Ó Ceannabháin, Cill Chiarán; Colm Ó Fionnachta, Fálcarrach, Dún na nGall; Ruairí Ó hEidhin, Corr na Móna; Caoimhín Ó Nualláin, Béal an Mhuirthid.
Second row: Seán Mac Giolla Ceara, Na Dúnaibh; Conal Ó Ceallaigh, Cill Alaidh, Maigheo; Gearóid Ó hEidhin, Inis Díomáin, Co An Clár; Uinseann Ó Ciarragáin, Béal an Muirthid; Maitiú De Búrca, Túar Mhic Éadaigh, Maigheo; Antoine Pól, Cill Rónáin; Mícheál De Búrca, Tuar Mhic Éadaigh; Olibhear Ó Maoldúin, Bóthar na Trá.
Third row: Seán De Búrca, na Forbacha; Dónal Ó Gallchoir, Fálcarrach, Dún na nGall; Padraig Ó Mórain, Beal Átha an Ghlúinín; Proinsias Ó Brodlaigh, na Dúnaibh; Séamas Mac Giolla Bháin, Acaill; Pádraig Ó Conchubhair, Inis Díomáin; Donncha Ó Lochlainn, Inis Diomáin; Padraig Ó hIarnáin, Oileáin Árainn.
Fourth row: Aodh Ó Rabhartaigh, Aodh Mac Aoidh agus Padraig Ó Gallchóir as Gaoth Dobhar, Dún na nGall; Stiofán Ó Catháin, Na Forbacha; Breandán Ó Nia, Roinn a Mhaoil, Gaillimh; Mícheál De Brún, Na Dúnaibh; Aodh Mac Laifeartaigh, Na Dúnaibh; Éanna Mac Giolla Bháin, Acaill.
Absent that day were day pupils Stanish De Barra, Ronán Ó Nualláin, Seán agus Feardorcha Ó Giollagáin, Éanna Mac Sabhais, Nollag Ó Rogáin, Damian Ó Daltún, agus Proinsias Ó Caomhánaigh. One of the boarders, Tomás Ó Maolalaidh from Garrafrauns, was also absent. This class recently held a very successful 50th anniversary reunion of their Leaving Cert year.
Ár mbíochas do Dónal Ó Gallachóir as ucht an griangraf seo.