January 18, 2021

Wicklow school which educated an Irish President kicks off 200-year birthday celebrations

It started off as Bray Male School and counts the fifth President of Ireland as a past pupil and now  St Cronan’s School is about to celebrate its 200th birthday.

The  Bray school kicked off the celebrations last week with a dramatic drone photo of all of their students.

“We are very excited about the 200th anniversary of our school and of celebrating the great history that St. Cronan’s has in Bray,” says school principal Maeve Tierney.

The school began in 1820 in a number of cottages as Bray Male School and in 1880, due to rising numbers the school moved into what is now known as The Little Flower Hall beside The Holy Redeemer Church.

It was during this time it’s most famous past pupil was enrolled; Cearbhall Ó Dalaigh, who would go on to become the fifth President of Ireland.

President Ó Dalaigh was born in 1911 above 85 Main Street, Bray, which is now the Jasmine House Restaurant.

In 1932, the school moved into a new premises on the Vevay Hill, and was renamed St Cronan’s Boys’ National School.

The school was lead by many noteworthy principals during this time, including Paddy McDonnell, Martin Daly, Jim French and Seán Cotter.

When Vaughan Dodd arrived as principal in 1991, he lead a campaign for a new school building to cater for the growing school.

A new building in Vevay Crescent was completed in 1999 and has been home to St. Cronan’s ever since. The original Vevay Hill school building is now used by Gaelscoil Uí Chéadaigh.

“We have planned a number of events and activities to celebrate this momentous year,” says Chairperson of the 200th Anniversary Committee and teacher Karl Ó Broin.

“There are very few schools in the country which have served their community for 200 years, and we are very proud of this tradition in Bray.

“We are appealing to all past pupils of the school to get in touch with us if they have photos from St. Cronan’s in times gone by, or if they have stories from bygone years to share with us. They can do so by emailing history@stcronans.ie.”

You can follow St. Cronan’s 200th anniversary celebration on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stcronans and on their website www.stcronans.ie.

Drone Photo Credit: Ciarán Lennon


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