St. Colmans College is a Christian Community in which all of its members are valued and in which every member of staff is committed to ensuring that every one of our pupils is fully alive to, and fully empowered to realise, his full potential.
St. Colmans College was founded by Fr. J.S. Keenan in William Street, Newry in 1823 as the Dromore Diocesan Seminary. The Education Commissioners Enquiry of 1824 recorded an enrolment of some 40 pupils. Known throughout Ireland as Violet Hill, the College has occupied its magnificent rural setting since 1829. The oldest parts of the present school building date from 1879 and the extensions and renovations under successive Presidents can be traced from the photographs that adorn the corridor walls. In 1970 a building programme made provision for the teaching of Woodwork - later Craft, Design and Technology - and St. Colmans College became the first Grammar School to offer this subject as an integral part of the curriculum. In the 1980s and early 90s, Fr. Boyle carried on the tradition of developing College facilities with the complete renovation of the Chapel. In 1994 the College opened new fully equipped Science and Technology blocks and converted the former Study Hall into a very attractive and up-to-date library, while the following year saw the complete refurbishment of the dormitories. The improvement of College facilities continued when, in 1996, two new Computer Suites were added and in 1997 the Language Room was completely renovated. In 1999 the remaining Science Laboratories were fully refurbished. The turn of the century brought about further developments with two state of the art sand-based football fields opened in 2000.
A new Sports Hall was completed in June 2006. October 2009 saw the opening and dedication of the new College buildings and renovations. This work included the building of 18 new classrooms, a new multi-purpose sports hall and the complete renovation of every classroom in the College. Today the diggers and bulldozers are onsite erecting our new 3G Gaelic football pitch, a 6 lane running track which will both be fully flood lit and are scheduled for completion in September 2011. All these works are a testament to the continuing success and commitment of today's staff and pupils. This project has been designed to merge and fit into the existing school landscape and to provide standards of excellence in education for the 21st century. St Colmans College at Violet Hill has expanded beyond the wildest dreams of its founders 187 years ago. The College now stands magnificently placed to deliver the modern curriculum in all its varieties and to meet whatever challenges the education future may bring. Yet the opening announcements mission statement of 1823 still provides St Colmans College with its raison datre:
The great end of education is to make us better men and women and better Christians that howmuchsoever the mind may be enlightened, if it is not improved and directed to the great moral and religious duties, the principal object is neglected. To form and guide the tender mind in the pursuit of truth - to endeavour to impress it with a sense of religion- is the laborious yet pleasing duty of the instructor
- To create a climate wherein all students can flourish and fully develop their God-given talents.
- To ensure that St. Colmans College is a happy and fulfilling place to be.
- To instil in students a sense of responsibility for their own actions and achievements.
- To awaken in students a sense of their dignity and self-worth.
- To inculcate in students respect for the dignity and rights of others.
- To create warm and positive relationships between students, staff and all members of the College Community.
- To build an effective partnership between parents, students and staff.
- To bring our students to a full understanding of our Catholic Faith and to promote Christian values and attitudes in all members of the College Community.