New College Building

Fundraising had previously been undertaken by Bishop Lyster at home and Fr Blaine in Argentina. Dr. James Daly, a colleague of Fr. Blaine, had also been fundraising abroad for more than a year. Work began on the New College which was completed in 1916. The architect was W. H. Byrne, Dublin and the main contractor was James Kieran, Dublin. Consulting Engineers were Maguire and Gatchell, Dublin.


The building was U shaped in classic style of three stories. It comprised an oratory, study hall, two large dormitories on the Fair Green side, two small dormitories, seven bedrooms on the second floor and seven sitting rooms on the first floor for the priests and students, a science room on the ground floor, study hall, stage hall divided normally by partitions into three class rooms, six classrooms, reception room and four washrooms cum toilets. In the Old College (Military Barracks) facilities continued for kitchen, dining rooms for staff and students, truck rooms and some class rooms. The new building was located in front of the Old College. The entrance to the Old College was modified and a new perimeter wall was erected along Chapel Lane. The New College opened its doors in September 1916 to 105 students, 70 of whom were boarders and an overall increase of thirty on the previous year.


By today’s standards the washing and sanitary facilities on the half landings of the stairs were meagre. The plumbing consultants were Musgrave and Co. St. Ann’s Ironworks, Belfast. Water was pumped from the basement / boiler house to the roof and attic tanks and sourced from a deep well near the eastern side entrance. The well was also equipped with a large hand pump for additional needs. The Consulting Engineers for electric lighting and power were Louis J. Lawless, Dublin.


W.H. Byrne also designed modifications in the Old College. These involved the incorporation of the stairs and small end rooms on the east side into the adjoining large rooms to provide a large student dining room on the ground floor, a dormitory on the first floor and a Diocesan Library on the second floor. A new stairway in the battlement area replaced the old stairs.