Ard Scoil Ris started out in the O’Brien Institute, which functioned as a private school, in 1969. Under the principalship of Br. Carberry, the new school incorporated the existing second-level students from the old school and day pupils from the surrounding area. Old dormitories were converted into classrooms and an old reception room became the staff room. 6 prefab classrooms were added in 1970 and 1971 as the school’s intake grew.
In early 1972 builders started on a site next to the O’Brien Institute and by September of that year the new school building had taken shape. It was officially opened on 21 November 1972 by Eamon deValera. At this stage the school had grown, with 450 pupils and 25 staff. Through the decade the school continued to prosper under the stewardship of the Christian Brothers and the highlight for many came with victory in the All-Ireland Colleges Football Championship in May 1979. Ard Scoil became the first Dublin school in over twenty years to bring the Hogan Cup, the Blue Riband of colleges football, back to Dublin. The achievement is all the more notable in that no Dublin school has managed to do it since.
In 1984 a new wing was added with dressing rooms, showers, a Library and Audio-Visual Room. The school continued to excel on the sports field and most students went on to third level education.
In 1998 the long cherished dream of a new sports hall became a reality. The efforts of literally thousands of people who fundraised over the previous twenty years could be seen in the new hall, which was a huge addition to the P.E. and Games departments. Less than a year after it opened our second years gave it a great baptism by winning the Second Year “B” All-Ireland Basketball Championship in their new home venue. Following on from this, six new classrooms were built. A new wing for the library was constructed and some much needed office space has eased the pressure on space in the school.
In the first fifteen years of the 21st Century the school has had continued success. On the sports field we landed two U/14 “A” Football Titles, a pair of U/14 hurling title in 2013 and 2014, no less than five U/16 “A” Hurling Titles from 2009 to 2014 and our first U/18 hurling titles (2014 and 2015) since 1999. Two Senior Football titles along with various basketball and badminton championships while more sedate extra-curricular activities such as debating, drama and a very active Students’ Council have gone from strength to strength. Despite competition from fee paying schools Ard Scoil has remained near the top of the pile in terms of Leaving Certificate results, regularly sending a greater percentage of its annual Leaving Certificate cohort to DCU than any other school in North Dublin.
The Principal, Mr. Neville and the Deputy Principal, Ms. Barry, are currently in charge of Ard Scoil Ris and it’s 525 pupils. It’s a school with more than forty years’ experience of development in education; a school with a reputation for sporting and academic excellence; a school small enough to enjoy a common spirit; a school that is looking forward to continuing to face the challenges of educating its students in the 21st century.
Adapted from a piece by Tony Daly.