Ardscoil Rís started out in the O’Brien Institute, which functioned as a boarding school for those of educational disadvantage, in 1969. This site today is owned by the Dublin Fire Brigade and can be accessed off the Malahide Road. 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 on Griffith Avenue 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. Ardscoil Rís 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.

In the first two decades of the 21st Century the school has had continued success. On the sports field the school has become one of the most successful GAA schools in Dublin, landing a number of Dublin and Leinster titles in both hurling and football. Added to this have been various basketball and badminton championships, while other extra-curricular activities such as debating, drama and a very active Students’ Council have gone from strength to strength. In September 2018 work began on the long waited development of our playing pitch, which was finally opened in September 2021.

Academically, Ardscoil Rís 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 Dublin. Ardscoil Rís is a school with half a century of experience; a school with a reputation for academic and sporting excellence; a school small enough to enjoy a common spirit; and 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.