St Patrick's College, Belfast

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Coordinates: 54°37′52″N5°56′13″W / 54.631°N 5.937°W / 54.631; -5.937


St Patrick's College
St. Patrick's College, Belfast crest.png
St Patrick's College, Belfast
116 Antrim Road, Belfast

Type Catholic High School
MottoPro deo et patria (For God and country)
Chairman of the Governing BoardVery Rev. M. Sheehan
HeadmistressPaula Stuart, B.Sc. M.Sc. D.A.S.E. P.G.C.E.
Gendersingle gender, all male
Age11to 18
EnrolmentApprox. 900
Colour(s)Gold, Green and Black    

St Patrick's College, Bearnageeha was a Roman Catholic secondary school for boys aged between 11-19 situated on the Antrim Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The college's catchment area encompassed the New Lodge, Ardoyne, the Antrim Road and various other areas of North Belfast. In 2006, St Patrick's celebrated its golden jubilee. St Patrick's was the first Catholic secondary school in Belfast to offer A-Levels.

The school was amalgamated in 2017 with Little Flower Catholic School to form Trinity College after all legal appeals to the amalgamation were exhausted. [1]


St Patrick's College opened its doors for the first time on 31 August 1955. The school was constructed at a cost of approximately £250,000 and offered places to 450 young men, the school was built on the Antrim Road and has the address number "619". [2]

The school inherited its subtitle, "Bearnageeha" from Bearnageeha House, the mansion around which the College is built. [3] The name "Bearnageeha" is phonetically derived from the Gaelic phrase "bearna gaoithe", meaning "the windy gap". While little evidence survives as to why Bearnageeha House received its name, it has been suggested that it was related to its isolated location within the original Fortwilliam Estate; surrounded by the Belfast hills. [3]

Headmasters and headmistress

Patrick O’Neill1955–1960
Billy Steele1960–1980
George Salters1980–1997
PJ O’Grady1997–2011
Paula Stuart2011–2017


Sport plays a central role in day-to-day life at St Patrick's College. The school offers sports including football, hurling, soccer, handball, boxing, cross country and golf. The local sporting scene has many connections to St Patrick's College.

The sports department makes regular use of local leisure centres, Mallusk Playing Fields, Cliftonville Playing Fields, Barnett's Park, Cavehill Country Park and the Antrim Forum Athletics Track, along with the school's own sports fields and synthetic grass sports facility. In 2016 the college opened a new state of the art gym facility, it includes male and female changing rooms and a fitness suite.

In Gaelic Games, the college joined the ranks of the Ulster Colleges’ in the later part of the 1990s, competing in all age groups in Gaelic football and hurling. St. Patrick's has won a number of Ulster Colleges’ titles in both Gaelic football and hurling. The students that represent the College on the GAA front are drawn mainly from the three local clubs in north Belfast: Pearse's, Ardoyne Kickhams and St Enda's, Glengormley.

In soccer, all students who represent the school play in two competitions: the Belfast Schools Cup and Northern Ireland Schools Cup. The later has recently received major sponsorship with Umbro providing revenue. Many past students are now playing soccer at amateur, semi-pro and Irish League levels, while others have played in England, including Tony Kane and Martin Donnelly. Many current players are currently on trial with various Premier League, Championship and Irish League teams.

In Cross Country, utilising the nearby Cavehill Country Park for preparation, St Patrick's students compete on an annual basis in the B District Championships; usually held at Ormeau Park or at Queen's University's complex at ‘The Dub’. Students regularly qualify for the Ulster Championships, the most recent achievement being a silver medal, which won by John McKeown in Tullamore, County Offaly.

For many years the College Golf Team has participated in the Golfing Union of Ireland's inter-school competitions. Students get the chance to compete at Under 14 and Under 18 levels. The competitions are played over 18 holes under both stroke and match play conditions. The college has participated in the GUI Winter League Ulster section.


The college operates a house system, which was inaugurated in 1998 during the Headmastership of PJ O'Grady. It was at this time that the first three houses were created; Trinity (year 8), Saul (year 9) and Slemish (year 10). Each house has a designated colour and students wear their house badge on their school blazers. [4] Each class in the Junior School has a rotating position of Prefect and Captain. Both Prefect and Captain wear a badge to show their position within their group [4]

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  1. "Belfast mum fails to halt Little Flower and St Patrick's College amalgamation". Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. 1 2 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)