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History





Belgrove House

Belgrove House

Clontarf

Origin of the name:

The origin of the name Clontarf/Cluain Tarbh has been translated as the field of the bull or the meadow of the bull. Tradition holds that the noise the waves of the sea created as they beat along the shingle and sands of the coastline resembled the bellowing of a bull. The earliest settlers could hear the roar of the tide on the sandbanks, which filled Dublin Bay. Thus the North Bull and the South Bull got their names. Clontarf shares its name with at least four other Clontarfs worldwide, all named by Irish emigrants. Australia has two, one is a suburb of Sydney and the other a suburb of Brisbane. In the U.S. there is a small town in Minnesota named Clontarf. Canada, in southern Ontario has a place named Clontarf as well.

Belgrove

The origin of the name Belgrove is a matter of speculation. It could be an Anglo-French combination meaning beautiful (belle) wood (grove). It may also be a French family or place name or it could be adopted from the well-known Belgrave Square in London! At any rate the original Clontarf National Schools were located on Vernon Avenue where the Holy Faith Convent had their all-weather hockey pitch. The schools were built at the height of the Great Famine 1846/1847. The schools operated until 1940 on this site at which stage an alternative site was sought, due to the physical dilapidated state of the buildings and the ever-increasing Clontarf population. Belgrove House (now Áras Chluain Tarbh) was purchased along with two acres of ground, ushering in a new era in the Clontarf area. From 1940 until 1971 the house served as a school for boys and girls. By 1956 the Belgrove roll books included 700 boys and 600 girls. Teachers were holding classes all over the grounds – in the mews, corridors, in makeshift huts, etc. Consequently in 1955 a new nine-room boys school was built – the Junior Boys’ School. Ten new classrooms were officially opened in 1964, which is now the Senior Boys’ School. The girls remained in Belgrove House until 1971 when the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Dermot Ryan, opened their present schools. The old Belgrove House had never been a success as a school and always had problems with heating, lighting and general conditions. The number attending the four schools climaxed in the early to mid 1970’s when almost 2000 children attended Belgrove!

Principal teachers since 1940

Mr. Gerry Ryle

1940 – 1944

Mr. Micheál Ó Céileachair

1944 – 1975

Mr. Dónal Cleary

1975-1996

Mr. Michael Ruddy

1996 -2009

Mr. Frankie Byrne

2009-Present

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