St Fintan’s 75th Anniversary

There are celebrations on the horizon and we at St. Fintan's High School want all of our past pupils to share in the occasion of our 75th anniversary!

75th Anniversary Gala Ball

Join us on the 10th of November as we commemorate our 75th Anniversary with a gala ball in the splendour of Clontarf Castle. Tickets are available from the school office or by email at [email protected]

A History of St. Fintan’s High School:

This year St. Fintan’s High School is opened 75 years! St. Fintan’s has been successfully running since the 8th of September 1943.
Originally the school was opened in the Burrow, Sutton in a place called Bellevue House, which was located on Station Road. Bellevue House School consisted of primary school boys and girls and secondary school girls joined in 1924. It was run by Mrs. Helen McAlister, Mrs. Watson and some Christian Brothers as a mixed school, calling it St. Catherine’s. St. Catherine’s was also a vacation residence for the Christian Brothers during WWII. After Mrs. Watson’s passing in 1940 and the whole school was then taken over by the Christian Brothers. This heralded the end of St. Catherine’s school, which was lovingly remembered by those who attended it.


Then in 1943, at the request of Rev. Patrick Clarke, parish priest of Howth, the school was turned into St. Fintan’s Christian Brothers High School by Edmund Rice Trust’s Christian Brothers. Under the direction of Reverend Brother P.J Walsh, the school was reopened as an all-boys preparatory and secondary school. The new St. Fintan’s School had a total roll call of 48 students. By 1954 the roll call reached a staggering 305 students. The school on the Burrow Road was exceeding its maximum capacity.
Consequently, a new school was opened on 6 September 1972 on the site of Warren House on the Howth Road and two years later a senior block was built, costing a total of  175,000 pounds, turning it into the two storey, three acre secondary school we are in today. The school was also blessed by Archbishop Ryan when the new school opened.
In 1976, an Assembly Hall was built to be a place for many recreations and Saint Fintans National School was built and the national school was under the direction of Rev. Gerald Diffney and Mr. Charles McGinley.

To find out more regarding the history and past principals of Saint Fintan’s High School, Sutton, the school magazine interviewed Dermot Quinn, head of the Historical Society of Howth,whose brother Brendan was one of the original 48 boys who came to Saint Fintan’s High School back in 1943.

Dermot explained the origins of the name St. Fintan’s High School. It was named after the local saint and also because Sutton in Gaelic is called ‘Chill Fhionntáin’. Reverend Brother P.J Walsh came up with the unusual name High School (as many CBS were usually just called Secondary School, CBS or College) because of “The High Standards of St. Fintan’s, of course!”
We have had a lot of principals in the past 75 years of Saint Fintan’s High School.
Originally the school was run by Christian Brothers, until 1986, when a non Christian Brother became Principal of St. Fintan’s, Bill McCartney. Below  is a list of all the principals of Saint Fintan’s since 1943:

Reverend Brother P.J Walsh                   (1943-1948)            
Reverend Brother T.N Mac Donnchada (1948-1954)
Reverend Brother R.Q O’Driscoll           (1954-1960)
Reverend Brother J.C Finn                     (1960-1963)
Reverend Brother Ó’Muineacháin          (1963-1966)
Reverend Brother P.V Russell                 (1966-1971)
Reverend Brother Christopher Kierans  (1971-1973)                          

Reverend  Brother                                                                                                               
Reverend Brother John O’ Kelly              (1973-1975)                    P.J Walsh, 1st
Reverend Brother Thomas Purcell          (1975-1980)                       Principal of St.
Reverend Brother John C Burke              (1980-1986)                     Fintan’s High
Bill McCartney                                            (1986-1998)     School
Dick Fogarty                                               (1998-2006)
Ray Quinn                                                   (2006-2010)
Mary Fox                                                     (2010-                 
Saint Fintan’s could not be any more proud to have a school filled with both academic and sports achievements for the past 75 years...and there are many more to come.

By Dario Regazzi