Tradition is one of the pillars upon which the College is built. A strong Catholic ethos has always been an intrinsic component of school life. In Blackrock, faith is nurtured. A religious and moral education is seen as fundamental to the development of the individual.
Blackrock is a living, thriving institution. Consequently, hand in hand with our willingness to learn and benefit from the past is a quest to embrace change and to move forward. The modern world is not a static one. We recognise that our response must be simultaneously proactive and reactive in order to provide the boys with the skills, knowledge, values and adaptability they will need to take their place in society.
We measure the success of Blackrock by the contribution we make to the development in each student of a sharp sense of justice, a desire for a more caring and compassionate society, independence of mind, honesty in communication and respect for the dignity of all.
Blackrock uniquely mixes the advantages of a large school, in terms of subject choice, companionship and extra-curricular activities with an administrative structure which sub-divides the College into small groups. This provides an intimate and personal environment in which each boy may reach his full potential.
The boarding school, located in Williamstown Castle, is home to one hundred boys from all year groups. Boarders are, and always have been, unique members of the Blackrock community. Their experience of the school is, by its nature, a very comprehensive one. Traditionally, the bond between boarders and Blackrock has been particularly strong.
A SCHOOL WITH A DIFFERENCE
Blackrock College, known originally as the French College, Blackrock, was founded in 1860 by Père Jules Leman CSSp and his French companions. They had a dual aim, namely to train personnel for missionary service in the Third World and provide a first class Catholic education for Irish boys. In response to changing circumstances, a highly successful Civil Service training department and university college were established and flourished for some forty years in the Castle. When public examinations at secondary level were introduced, Blackrock was seen to excel. Though founded by a wholly clerical team, lay personnel were soon introduced – their numbers increasing over the years, as finances permitted.
From the start, sport was promoted as an integral part of a balanced formation. Excellence in a broad spectrum of sport was encouraged.
The French tradition of a wide cultural education was developed down the years epitomised today by the annual Leman Concert presented by staff and students in the National Concert Hall. The original missionary aim was maintained in changing circumstances. Blackrock alumni launched many Third Wold initiatives. Bob Geldof’s spectacular contribution – the Live Aid phenomenon in the mid 1980s for Famine Relief – highlighted that tradition. The leading worldwide Catholic lay movement, The Legion of Mary, was founded by a past student Frank Duff. A caring attitude is fostered among the students through participation in St. Vincent de Paul work and major fund-raising initiatives for charitable causes. The Blackrock College motto ‘Fides et Robur’ – Fortitude in the practice of the Faith – is very much alive at Blackrock and beyond. The students, staff, parents, College Union and Community are the source of hope and inspiration for Blackrock College. The Des Places educational Association, as College Patron, maintains the the Spiritan ethos in all five schools – Blackrock College, Rockwell, St. Mary’s, St. Michael’s and Templeogue – conducted by the Congregation of The Holy Spirit in Ireland.