St Paul's CBS Secondary School - The Brunner

Our History

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Brunner History

In 1869 His Eminence Cardinal Cullen, together with the Parish Priest, Canon Brock of Arran Quay, invited the Christian Brothers to open a school in North Brunswick St. At the time Arran Quay Parish extended from the Liffey to Blanchardstown, to Aras an Uachtaráin, Garda Depot, Aughrim Street Parish and from Church St. northwards to Glasnevin cemetery, including Arbour Hill and McKee Barracks.

Canon Brock purchased a site in North Brunswick Street for £1,000 and the granite school was built at a cost of £4,000. There were 4 large rooms and two smaller ones. Schoolwork began on the 8th February, before the building was completed. There was an open gravel pit in the yard, from which the sand used in the building was dug. 300 pupils attended the first day, which increased to 500 in a short time. Some had never been to school, and were very unruly to control. Imagine those early days with 150 pupils in a classroom and trying to teach with the help of a few monitors.

The Brother sent to open the Christian School, North Brunswick Street was Director Br. Patrick Thomas McGrath. The brothers first lived in the old School of Medicine Nth. Brunswick Street. Canon Brock suggested the Brothers hand over the residence in which he intended to establish the Yore Club. In return for this concession he promised to contribute £30 towards the rent of a new house.

The winter of 1868 and the spring of 1869 were exceptionally severe. The walk to mass and then to school through sleet and snow was most trying. Life for the Brothers was very difficult; many died at a young age. On the 23rd May 1881 the Brothers moved from Nth. King Street to No. 9 Charleville Terrace, now No. 265 North Circular Road.

The school building had windows in the gable ends, giving a church-like appearance while one end is crowned with a little belfry. The bell was rung by a pupil each day at the Angelus. Through the exertions of one boy the bell came tumbling through the ceiling one day and was never replaced.

In 1873 the Brothers lived in a house in the girls schoolyard which was demolished by Canon Doyle in 1961 as it was in dangerous condition with slates falling from the roof into the Primary yard. Tarmacadam still covers the site in the yard today. A garden and orchard belonging to the school stretched along Nth. King Street where the girls school and apartment buildings are now. The original granite building still stands today on Nth. Brunswick Street and is occupied by the Boys Primary School. Behind this stands a relatively new building that was reconstructed in the late 1980′s after the previous building was destroyed by fire. In 1998 the Secondary School was provided with a new building to improve conditions and provide much needed facilities. In 2019 we celebrated our 150th anniversary as a school, and as the years roll on we hope to continue playing an important role in the local community for as long as our services are needed.

St Paul's CBS Secondary School - The Brunner
North Brunswick St, Dublin 7, D07 VF57
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