Sandymount High School

Sandymount High School was a coeducational secondary school on Herbert Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4 which operated for over 50 years before closing in 1999.


Sandymount High School was founded in 1947 and was initially controversial because, as a non-denominational school, it wasn't owned by a church but by the Cannon family,[1] who also provided the two headmasters the school had: father and son Patrick and Conall Cannon. Patrick's wife Eileen Cannon also served as headmistress.

The school's student body was arguably drawn from several distinct groups: those from a local council estate called Beech Hill, the offspring of parents disenchanted with denominational/same sex schools, students on the Malahide/Howth to Bray rail corridor and the 3 & 18 bus routes, and foreign nationals who paid tuition fees.

The school's pre-Celtic Tiger period accommodation and successful integration of the latter group was remarkable, as until the late 1990s non-white/non-Christian students were a rarity in the vast majority of Irish classrooms.

While the school had a gym — basically exercise classes — for Intermediate Certificate students, it had no compulsory sports or sports team while Conall Cannon, the second headmaster, was in charge. Allegedly he hated having compulsory sports while he was a student. The first headmaster, Patrick Cannon, was happy to have rugby union as the main school sport for both Intermediate and Leaving Certificate male students in the early 1960s.

A rival school opened next door several years later: Marian College, run by the Catholic Church. It was opened at the behest of John Charles McQuaid to counter what he perceived as the influence of Sandymount High.[2] Marian College even copied the school colours.

The school was closed in 1999 and the land sold for development.[3] The site now contains a gated community called Cannon Place.


Notable former pupils include Fionnula Flanagan,[4] Charlie Bird,[5] Eamonn Dunphy, Dervla Kirwan, Alan Moore and Ronnie Delaney.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Murray, Peter (2010). "Educational Developmentalists Divided? Patrick Cannon, Patrick Hillery and the Economics of Education in the Early 1960s" (PDF). The Economic and Social Review. 41: 6.
  2. ^ John Charles McQuaid: ruler of Catholic Ireland, John Cooney, p.295
  3. ^ Parliamentary Debates, 26 April 2006 - the school is listed as one that closed since 1996
  4. ^ Fionnula Flanagan, the Lisa Richards Agency
  5. ^ Press Release Archive, University College Dublin, retrieved 21 July 2009

Coordinates: 53°20′01″N 6°13′32″W / 53.3335°N 6.2255°W / 53.3335; -6.2255