Abbey CBGS

ABBEY CHRISTIAN BROTHERS GRAMMAR, NEWRY (1851 – Present). Chapel Street, Kilmorey Street, the Carstands at Margaret Street and the Mall, then on to Abbey Yard and Courtenay Hill (1966). The new school building opened in January 2010 in Ashgrove Road.



Mr Danny GillespieMrs Anne McAteer, 
Mr Aidan MurdockMr Mark Rogers 



Mr Seán Sloane: Past Pupil. Took up post in November 2017. Mr Dermot McGovern:  Principal. Past Pupil. Retired at Halloween 2017. Br Joe McDonald: Now a Priest, Dublin Diocese. Former pupil of CBS, Glen Road and St Mary’s CBGS. Former Head of Religion, St Mary’s CBGS. Br Kelly (1987 – ?). Became a priest. Br J C McDermott, (1976 -’87), Br Bill Lynam: (1968-’71?), Br Charles Gallagher,  Br P W Newell (to 1967)

TEACHERS  (Click for more information)

Mr Tom Comer, Br F R Connolly, Mr P A Crinion, Mr J Devlin, Mr. Richard Egan, Br. Michael Farrell, Mr J J Fitzpatrick, Br C I Gallagher, Br. Ger Gibbons, Mr J Haffey, Mr Val Kane, Br T L Magee, Mr. Hugh Markey, John McCann, Br D B McCrohan, Br T C McDonnell, Br. P.C. McFarlane, Mr Dermot McGovern, Mr Mel McMahon, Br H C O’HaraBro. P.W. Newell, Mr Aidan O’Rourke,  Br. W. L. Rehill, Br. Michael Rice, Br E F Ryan, Mr M F Sweeney, Mr P A Sweeney,    


PAST PUPILS (Click on decade for more information)


Frank Aiken

Frank Aiken, 

Francis Carroll, 

John Crawford, John Joseph Gallagher,

Leonard Abrahamson,

M. Brady, G. Butterfield,  J. Campbell, F. Conlon, J. Cunningham, B. Doyle, G. Geoghan, M. Heatley, P. Hennity, R. Hollywood, J. Keegan, Seamus Mallon,  Tom Mallon, A. McKay,  B. McSherry, J.O’Donnell, P. O’Hagan,  P Ó Maolchraoibhe, K. O’Neill, Seán O’Neill,    

Kevin Boyle, Sean Hollywood, Pat Jennings, Val Kane, Paddy Maguinness, Eamonn Mallie, James McKenna, Gerard Murphy, 

Professor Kevin Boyle

Professor Kevin Boyle

Dominic Bradley, Peter Cunningham, Dermot Dowling, John Farrell, Michael Hannaway, Frank Hurl, D. J. Kane, Kevin Kenny, Paul Mackle, Dermot McGovern, Jim McGuigan, Francis McShane, Des Smith,  

Michael Burns, Brendan Carroll, Kenneth Comer, Stephen Comer, Paul Farrell, Damien Garvey, Ronan Goss, Michael Guilfoyle, Ronan Hughes, Rowan Lyons, Oisin McConville, Frank McKevitt, Tony McMahon, Jim McShane, Kevin McVeigh, Mario Murphy, Paul O’Callaghan, Paul O’Neill, Martin Patterson, Thomas Rodgers, Barry Turley, 

Colin Bennett, Ronan Boyle, Gavin Brown, Cormac Campbell,  Niall Comer, Shane Comer, Gavin Cumiskey, Raymond Devine, Aidan Donnan, Gerard Duffy, Ciarán Farmer, Kieran Fearon, Mark Fearon, Maurice Fearon, Paudie Fearon, Jim Finnegan, Sean Gaddis, Conor Graham,  Andrew Gregory, Gerard Hartigan, John Kane, Darren Kelland, Pádraig Lynch, Ciaran Magee, Barry Magill, Cathal Maguire, Kieran Mallie, Barry Malone, Brendan Martin, Eddie Martin, Peter McCaul, Shane McCourt,  Johnathan McCullough, Tony McEntee, Daniel McGivern, Terence McGivern, Pádraig McGoldrick, Brian McGovern, Conor McKeown, Paul McKeown, Gregory McKevitt,  Paul McKevitt, Declan McLogan, Terence McMahon, Justin McNulty, Paul McNulty, Oliver McShane, Gerard Morgan, Kenneth Morgan, Martin Mulholland, Gareth Murtagh, Brian O’Connell, Cormac O’Donnell, Felim O’Donnell, Mark O’Hare, Seán O’HareRory O’Neill, Cathal O’Rourke, Eamonn O’Rourke, Colm Owens, Adrian Patterson, Damien Rafferty, Dermot Rafferty, Gavan Rankin, Ciaran Rice, Cathal Rushe, Ronnie Sands, Gary Short, Kyle Smith, Daniel Stewart, Paul Torley, Ronan Treanor, Paul Tumilty, Evin Quigley,  Chris White, David Young,

David Boyle, Richard Byrne, Cormac Campbell, Fergal Campbell, Shane Campbell, Ciaran Coffey, John Cole, Shawn Connolly, John Corless, Edward Carville, Barry Crawley, Chris Doran, John Dougan, Christopher Duggan, Chris Gaskin, James Harte, Gareth Heaney, Kevin Holt, Connor Jackson, Mark Kelly, Eoin Lennon, Michael Lynch, Darren Magee, Dermot Markey, Shane Marron, Ryan Martin, Ciarán McArdle, Rory McAteer, Jonathan McConville, James McCooey, Mike McGovern,  Pádhraig McKernan, Andrew McParland, Michael Morgan, Conor Mulcahy, Brendan Mullan, Eoin Mulvaney, Niall Mulvaney, Daniel Murphy, Sean O’Hare, Rory O’Rorke, Michael O’Rourke, Vincent O’Rourke, Aidan Quinn, Richard Reynolds, Mark Sweeney, 

Shaun Cinnamond, Kevin Gribben, Darren Magee, Kevin McKernan,  Michael Moore, 

Brady, James C (Prof): Former Professor of Law, UCD.
Casey, Jim (Prof): Former Professor of Law, UCD.
Cromie, Matthew (Mr): Chartered Account
Fitzpatrick, Eugene:
McAteer, Seamus (Dr): General Practitioner, Gaelic scholar, historian, and civil liberties campaigner.
O’ Donnell, Turlough (Justice): Former High Court Judge. Former member of the Board of Governors, St. Mary’s CBGS and Abbey CBGS.
O’Rorke, Rory (Mr): M Eng, QUB. Final School Year 2005. KDB+/q Engineer on Market Surveillance at First Derivatives.
O’Rourke, Aidan (Mr): Chair Of Abbey Past Pupils Sport Association.
Murdock, Gavan (Mr): Chartered Account
Patterson, Jackie (Mr): Former Mayor of Newry and Past President of the Past Pupils’ Union.
Sloan, Sean (Mr): Former Principal of St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick.
Toner, Adrian (Mr): Chief Operating Officer (Europe) at First Derivatives. Former Head of Allianz (NI).

Over the previous century, many notable personalities graduated from that huge grey structure at Abbey Yard. They included eminent Jewish surgeon, Dr Abrahamson; Archbishop Francis Carroll, Bishop John Crawford from Warrenpoint and Lord Justice Turlough O’Donnell. Also on roll were future doctors, teachers, lawyers, chemists, journalists, civil servants and businessmen.

On the political front were Frank Aiken, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs; Seamus Mallon, M.P. former Deputy First Minister; Stormont M.P.’s, Assemblymen and local councillors, including Jackie Patterson, Mayor of Newry, and past president of the Christian Brothers’ Past Pupils Union.

The legendary Brother Newell, known as `Wee Tarzan,` had launched the C.B.P.P.U. as a fund-raising channel for the new monastery, a residence of the brothers. Other presidents included historian and human rights campaigner, Dr Seamus McAteer, Des Murphy, Mick Mathers, Martin Goss, Barney Maguire, Paddy Cullen and Austin Kane.

Many sports stars have donned the red, black and amber jersey, such as Gerry Brown, Barney Carr, T.P. Murphy, Sean and Kevin O’Neill, Tony Hadden, John Murphy, Val and D.J. Kane, – from Down’s Sam Maguire Cup winning sides. And 10 players in Armagh’s historic squad were ex-Abbey boys, including the McEntee twins, the O’Rourke and McNulty brother, Oisin McConville and manager, Joe Kernan. Also International soccer stars, Peter McParland and Pat Jennings, as well as British boxing champion, Dan McAlinden.

History was made in 1954, when an Abbey C.B.S side, coached by Gerry Brown, brought the Mac Rory Cup to the Newry school for the first time, amid great jubilation. The all-conquering heroes were paraded through the streets of the town, preceded by bands. In fact, the golden jubilee of that auspicious occasion will be celebrated in the Carrickdale Hotel in February.

Among the best-known members of the Christian Brother’s community were 96-year-old Brother Aidan Byrne and 97-year-old Brother Dominic O’Donnell, who were honoured by Newry and Mourne district council at a special reception in 1995. Brother Byrne died a year later.

Council chairman Danny Kennedy stated: “Generations of young men, who attended the Abbey schools, have gone out into the world, better-equipped to take their places in the academic or commercial spheres. They had the benefit of having been taught by the Christian Brothers. You have seen many changes in your lifetime, but I trust that your faith in mankind has remained unshaken. We hope that many more will come forward to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Canon John Kearney, Adm., a past pupil, declared: “The Christian Brothers have welcomed us with open arms. They have imbued many young men with a sense of dignity, empowering them to become good citizens of their town and country.” And council vice-chairman Pat McElroy reported that the Order had “shown much charity to townspeople, especially during and after the war, when life was difficult. They provided food and clothes to the needy.”

A native of Co Wexford, Bro Byrne had taught for many years in the old Carstands primary school, and later in the secondary school. Mick Mathers, well-known in musical circles, recalled his visit to a nursing home in Dublin, when Brother Byrne made a special plea to be buried “among the Newry people.” The Superior, Bro Beausang acceded to the request, and the adopted son of the frontier town was interred in St Mary’s Cemetery.

Incidentally, Bro Beausang, known affectionately as `Bo`, involved in the Irish language and schools drama, described life in the `Master’s House,` which adjoined the secondary school. He reported how the Brothers “rose at 5.45 a.m., gathered in the chapel for prayer and meditation, then walked in singe file to the Dominican church for Mass at 7 a.m. There would be spiritual reading during breakfast.”

Recalling how the qualifying examination for free education at secondary level had been introduced in 1948, he stated that the headmaster for the primary school had been Bro Hennessy, assisted by Bros. Cloke, Gleeson, Nannery, McGreevy, Skehin, Lynch and Drohan. The lay teachers had included Petey Curran, Joe Sally and Johnney Walker.

After spending 26 years in Belfast, Bro Beausang was posted back to Newry as deputy headmaster in 1981. It was “like coming home from the high seas to calm waters. But what changes! The Abbey House was empty; the Brothers had gone to a new monastery on Courtney Hill. My neighbours had all gone, – the Keenans, Prices, Carrolls and Campbells. Old Mrs Keenan’s sweetie-shop, and Annie Dowdall’s pub had vanished. And the old Abbey building looked sad and desolate.”

But, 10 years later, the former secondary school had been transformed into the modern headquarters for Clanrye Abbey Development’s training and employment agency. This had been achieved by a team, led by Paddy McGuinness of Concern, funded by many groups. And Minister of Commerce, Richard Needham had officially opened the renovated Master’s House.

`Bo` also referred to the “red-letter day” in 1954, when the MacRory Cup had been won by an Abbey C.B.S. side for the first time. Two bands met the victorious squad on the outskirts of town, and the players were carried shoulder-high through the streets, cheered by large crowds. Bonfires blazed in Abbey Yard, while the players and management team stood triumphantly on the steps. A week later, we won the Corn na n-Og trophy, amid similar celebrations.”