In the early 1950’s, the then Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Charles McQuaid, had invited the Marist Brothers to open a school in the Sandymount-Ballsbridge area. The Marists found a beautiful site at Riverside House on the banks of the Dodder and on 8th September 1954 the first pupils entered the Brothers’ house to begin their secondary schooling. The Brothers decided to name the school Marian College as an acknowledgement of the special place of Mary in the foundation and traditions of the Marist Brothers and as an acknowledgement that the Church had declared 1954 as the Marian Year.

For the first 34 years, the College grew and developed under the leadership of four Marist Brothers, Bro Ligouri, Bro Declan, Bro Fintan and Bro Peter. In 1988, lay involvement in the management and organisation of the College significantly developed with the formation of the Board of Management and the appointment of the first lay Principal, Mr Paul Meany. Since that time, as a result of this fruitful partnership between Brothers, Staff and Parents, the College has continued to maintain a high standard of education for pupils of all backgrounds and means in the south side of Dublin.




College opened as fee-paying secondary school for boys. One class group in each year.


Main building constructed as two-storey building with theatre/assembly hall


First rugby team – still a central sport in the school with many past-pupils in Bective, Railway Union and Monkstown Clubs


First basketball team – hugely successful sport with many Irish championships, many international players, and past-pupils club which plays as UCD-Marian in the Irish Men’s semi-professional Superleague.


First table-tennis team – another very successful sport, with many Irish championships, many international players, and a huge intra-mural competition in the school each year for the Marist Cup.


Additional block of six classrooms plus swimming pool. Two class groups in each year.


First water-polo team – another hugely successful sport with many Irish championships, many international players, and very successful past-pupils’ club.


90% of Irish secondary schools, including Marian College, join the new free-education scheme.


First soccer team – very successful sport with many scholarships students to both UCD and the United States


Additional storey added to main building. Three class groups in each year


First of the annual musical productions


Gaelic football introduced in partnership with the Clanna Gael club


First Board of Management involving partnership between the Marist Brothers, the teaching staff and the parents.


Art and Music added to the school curriculum


Transition year introduced for one class group


Computer Room opened


Repeat Leaving Certificate programme for boys and girls began


Hurling introduced in partnership with the Clanna Gael club


School joins the Trinity Access Programme (TAP)


Transition Year expanded to two class groups

Building project presented to DES


Past-pupils Dress Dance as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations and Past-pupils Union re-launched.


Entered the School Completion Programme as part of DEIS initiative to improve the opportunities available for our students from disadvantaged backgrounds.


(1) Whole School Evaluation by the Inspectorate of the Department of Education and Science. This hugely positive report commended the school on its approach and achievements and recommended, inter alia, that the school should pursue improvements to its sports facilities to allow for the proposed introduction of PE.

(2) Refurbishment of the pupils’ toilets using the summer works scheme


(1) Contacts with the Lansdowne Road Development Company about a joint venture between the College, the LRDC, the City Council and the Department of Education and Science for the building of a sportshall and the re-development of the swimming pool

(2) Introduction of P.E. as part of the school curriculum. Fully qualified PE teacher employed for this purpose.

(3) Conversion of abandoned shed – at school’s own expense – to provide two additional classrooms

(4) Introduction of cricket as an additional sport


Complete replacement and refurbishment of the windows of the school, plus the laying down of two outdoor basketball courts, using the Department’s Summer Works Scheme


Replacement of three laboratories using the DES Summer Works Scheme


(1) Replacement of the schools’ heating system using the DES Summer Works Scheme

(2) All teachers with own laptops, inter-active whiteboards and/or projectors in all classrooms. This was achieved through the Departments ICT grant plus fund-raising by the school

(3) Introduction of the Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) as recommended in the WSE report.


Refurbishment of the Swimming Pool (after the floods of October 2011)


Completion of flood relief wall along the river Dodder

Entered the College for Every Student (CFES) programme with Trinity College 


(1)   Appointment of Ms Oonagh McCaul as Deputy Principal

(2)   International School of Distinction in CFES

(3)   Planning permission received for the construction of Sportshall

College achieved Green Flag

2015  International School of Distinction in CFES
2016 Commencement of the construction of the Sportshall which will open in 2017








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