History

The North Monastery CBS is an all-boys mainstream secondary school incorporating an autism unit, in the north side of Cork city. Founded in 1811 when Brother Jerome O’Connor and Brother John Baptist Leonard were given charge of a school in Chapel Lane by the Bishop of Cork, Rev. Dr. Moylan. Seventeen students attended on the first day. In 1814 a fourteen acre sloping site was acquired from a wealthy Catholic businessman, Sir George Gould Bart, and a new school was built. The North Monastery had found its permanent home. An outbreak of typhus fever in the city in 1816 saw the school being used as a temporary hospital.

Br. Gerald Griffin, the celebrated poet and novelist became a member of the North Monastery in 1839. He was a sick man before he arrived and died on 12th June 1840 in his 37th year. His remains are interred in the cemetery in the grounds of the North Mon. It was shortly after the death of Gerald Griffin that Daniel O’Connell visited the ‘Mon’ with the Founder of the Order, Br. Edmund Rice.

Ethos

From this early stage the ethos of the ‘Mon’ was established and was based on the core values of Edmund Rice, the founder of the Christian Brother’s Schools. Our ethos is one that values and prizes each student as an individual created and blessed by God. Ultimately, the ‘Mon’ is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all areas of teaching and learning by means of developing the child’s self esteem and allowing their gifts to flourish, in an environment that promotes personal growth and self accomplishment.

Throughout the history of the ‘Mon’ past students have excelled in areas of politics, science, engineering, business, sport and the arts.

Just to name a few:

  • In politics, the Mon has had several former students taking the role of Lord Mayors with two of them, Tomas MacCurtain (1884-1920) and Terence MacSwiney (1879-1920). The North Mon is also one of only ten schools that can boast a Taoiseach among its alumni, Jack Lynch (1917-1999).
  • Also prominent, in academic life is Professor Finbar Bradley, Dean of Engineering NUI Maynooth and former professor at both DCU and UCD. Professor Tadhg Begley (past winner of the BT Young Scientist) who is professor of Chemistry at both Cornell University and Texas A & M University; Professor Patrick Fottrell, former Professor of Biochemistry at NUI Galway who between 1996 and 2000 was president of that college, and Dr. Neil Buttimer, lecturer in Irish at University College Cork are all ‘Mon’ past students.
  • In business, Paddy Hayes, who has served as Chairman of Aer Lingus, Waterford Wedgwood, and Ford Ireland. In 2007 John Mullins was appointed CEO of Bord Gais. Dick Lehane, another former student was the senior vice-president of EMC. Joe Crockett, city and county manager in Kilkenny and Seamus Parker, former head of Revenue in Dublin City.

In all the North Monastery is very proud of the success students have attained and is fully committed to their students in realising their full potential in an environment that values each and every student both academically and their own personal development.