Schools out: The ones that closed


Four Dublin schools, Greendale Community School, Presentation College Glasthule, St Mary's Holy Faith Secondary School and St John of God School, Artane, closed their doors in June of this year.

For most of its history, Presentation College Glasthule was a fee-paying school. It fought to join the free fees scheme in the 1990s, but curiously its enrolment numbers fell. An all-boys' school, it was founded in 1902 and catered for approximately 300 students each year. The school had a strong international tradition and catered for students from as far afield as Argentina and China.

The final 18 students of St Mary's Holy Faith Secondary School on Haddington Road near Ballsbridge in south Dublin received their Leaving Cert results in August. The school had been a feature of the area since it opened in 1901. It prided itself on small classes and good results and catered for all levels providing the LCVP programme, a homework club and book rental scheme.

The same inclusive spirit was shared by St John of God Secondary School in Artane. Another all-girls' school, it provided the Leaving Cert Applied programme as well as the standard courses.

Of all the schools, the closure of Greendale, a large community school in Kilbarrack, was particularly controversial. Although numbers had fallen drastically, the surrounding area has been the subject of huge residential development over the past few years. In its heyday Greendale Community school could cater for up to 900 students. However, numbers tumbled in the late 1990s and by 2003 numbers were down to just over 200. The school was well-known for being progressive and forward-thinking.

The decision was made to close the school to new entrants in 2004, after which the numbers plummeted yet again. The final 50 students sat their State exams there in June of this year.