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Garbally College
Coláiste Ghearrbhaile
Crest of Garbally College

Motto Latin: Fide et Fortitudine
("By Fidelity and Fortitude")
Established 1892
Location Ballinasloe, County Galway,
Republic of Ireland
Students c. 500
Deputy Principal
Fr Colm Allman
Seamus O'Brien
Fr Niall Foley

Garbally College (Irish Coláiste Ghearrbhaile) is a Catholic, boys-only, secondary school based in Ballinasloe, Co Galway, Ireland. It is officially known as St Joseph's College (Irish Coláiste Sheosaimh).



St Joseph's College was founded as a Catholic seminary in 1892 to help educate priests for the Diocese of Clonfert, which owns it. It is managed by the Bishop of Clonfert, Bishop John Kirby and four other governors. It is staffed by priests of the diocese and lay teachers. From the beginning it also provided general secondary education of boarders and day pupils. Since the 1970s, day pupils are in the majority.

The College was established it at Cartron with funds provided by Mgr. James Madden. Due to expansion the college was changed to Esker, near Athenry in 1894. In 1901, it moved to the building known locally as "The Pines", at Creagh, Ballinasloe. In 1923, it moved to its present site at Garbally, once seat of the Earls of Clancarty. The Diocese purchased Garbally Court (built in 1819) and estate from the trustees of the Earls of Clancarty for £6,750 in 1922.

In the 1940s, 50s and 60s two other members of the same Madden family, the brothers Fr. John Madden of Killimor and Dr. George Madden of London bestowed many gifts on Garbally. The present science halls and study hall are one such example of their generosity. The new extension involving extra classrooms and dining hall was made possible as a result of a bequest by Dr Madden.

Garbally's boarding school closed in 2008. It is now a full day-school.


The school offers both the Junior and Leaving Certificate cycles and was one of the first schools to implement a Transition Year programme when it was introduced in 1973. Garbally offers all the mandatory subjects, along with woodwork, metalwork, design & communication, music, food appreciation and a new gym facility.

Extra-Curricular Activities and Sport

Garbally College is well known for its sporting tradition in Rugby Union, Hurling and Gaelic football. The college has many Connacht Schools Senior Cups and Connacht Schools Junior Cups and has produced a number of Irish Rugby Internationals. Garbally have won the Senior Cup 44 times, most recently in 2007. Garbally have won the Junior Cup 41 times, most recently in 2006.

Selected alumni

Selected staff and former staff

See also

External links



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